Lahore, Jul 4: Pakistan Cricket Board's Chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed feels BCCI's invitation to Pakistan's Sialkot Stallions to participate in the Champions League T20 to be played in South Africa in October would be the first step towards revival of cricketing ties with India.
Pakistan's Sialkot Stallions received an official invite from the organising committee of the Champions League.
Ahmed feels having received this invite to participate in the mega event, would definitely help in reviving bilateral ties between the two nations.
"We see this as a very positive development and since India is one of the main stake holders in the Champions League obviously it is the first step towards the revival of bilateral ties with India," Ahmed said.
Sialkot Stallions are competing with five other teams in the qualifying stage to grab one of the two spots available for the main round of the tournament.
"Pakistan has a very strong T20 domestic base and obviously we were always keen to have representation in the Champions League," Ahmed said.
Pakistan's Shoaib Malik-led Sialkot Stallions were the reigning champions and super eight T20 champions.
"This is going to be interesting playing the qualifiers in South Africa. We have been looking forward to get a chance to play in this elite competition and it is good news for us," Malik said.
The team includes various Pakistan cricketers like Imran Nazir, Rana Naved, Shakil Ansar, Abdul Rehman, Reza Hasan, Shahid Yousuf.
After the attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009, international teams are not keen on touring the country while their relations with India is also under scanner, as the terror attack on Mumbai in 2008 has made the country take vital steps to avoid the team from Pakistan for the Indian Premier League or for a bilateral series.
Though Sialkot Stallions' are participating in Champions League T20, they are not playing in India as the venue was shifted to South Africa due to various reasons.
Though they are included in the tournament, this might hardly change things overnight, but Ahmed feels that this is the first step towards reviving the bilateral ties between India and Pakistan.