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Pakistan ready to tour India to break ice

Published: Sunday, November 6, 2011, 15:00 [IST]
 
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Pakistan ready to tour India

Lahore, Nov 6: Keen to revive bilateral cricket ties with India, PCB's new chief Zaka Ashraf on Sunday said if needed, the Board is willing to make the first move and send the national team across the border for a series to break the ice.

"I want to see our traditional bilateral ties revived as soon as possible and for that even if we have to send our team to India to make a start, we will do it," Ashraf said on Sunday.

The PCB chief is hoping to hold constructive talks with the officials of the ICC and the India and Bangladesh Cricket Boards during a visit to Dubai immediately after Eid holidays.

"I will be going to Dubai to meet with the Pakistan team players and officials and will also be visiting the ICC headquarters on the 13th for a meeting, in which I hope to have talks with Bangladesh and Indian Board officials," Ashraf said.

The biggest criticism against Ashraf's predecessor, Ijaz Butt, was his failure to improve ties with other Boards, particularly the Indian and Bangladesh, with whom Pakistan didn't have cordial relations since the shifting of the 2011 World Cup matches in 2009.

Ashraf said it was important for the traditional series between Pakistan and India to be revived because it was a big attraction of the cricket world and guaranteed good earnings for the Boards and also lifted the profile of the sport in the sub-continent.

Pakistan is due to tour India next March under the ICC Future Tours Programme and Ashraf said if Pakistan had to go and play in India, it would do that.

India have suspended bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan since the terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008.

Ashraf also conceded that since Pakistan had nominated Ehsan Mani as ICC President in 2003, the Bangladesh Board now wanted its nominee to be appointed ICC President for the next term.

Pakistan and Bangladesh are due to announce a joint candidate for the ICC President's post under a rotation policy of the ICC Executive Board that was ratified at a recent meeting of the high-ups.

"We will discuss the matter with the Bangladesh cricket officials and see how it goes, but my viewpoint is clear that all cricket Boards in the Asian region need to support each other and have good relations and understanding," he added.

Pakistan's tour to India is also under a cloud of uncertainty due to the Australian team's tour to India in early March to play an ODI series and the scheduled Asia Cup around the same time in Bangladesh.

PTI

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