Pakistan can survive without India, says PCB chief

KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan believes the chances of the bilateral series against India are very less, looking at the current political turmoil situation between two nations.

“Given the present circumstances, the chances of a Pakistan-India [cricket] series look bleak and we have to live with the fact that India are not going to play us,” a prominent cricket website quoted Shaharyar as saying.

“At the same time, the BCCI hasn’t formally refused us, but we can’t wait long amid this uncertainty and have got to have an alternative plan. We will wait for another couple of months before forcing our plan ‘B’.”

While hoping for some improvement in the relationship between the two neighbours in the near future, Shaharyar stressed on the point that cricket should not suffer between politics.

“I hope the climate [in Pakistan-India relations] will improve but at the moment it’s more a political tension … the relationship between the countries is complex but cricket shouldn’t be suffering, it is after all something that can be a tool to lower the tension,” the PCB chief stated.

Shaharyar while acknowledging that he understood how big the BCCI was and the perks of playing India, firmly made a point that Pakistan cricket was not dependent upon their neighbouring board and could survive without playing the.

“We understand the BCCI is financially very sound and we are the ones who have suffered a lot in all this,” Shaharyar said. “It’s not that we can’t survive without playing them. We are surviving, and can survive, but our position is that the game shouldn’t be mixed up with the politics. So we are trying to get the series revived based on the MoU they have signed with us. They have to honour it and if they don’t it’s their responsibility,” the PCB chief maintained.

Recently, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur gave a statement that any bilateral series between India and Pakistan was unlikely until the political relationship between the two countries was stable.

He spoke after a gunfight in the Gurdaspur district in Punjab, close to India’s border with Pakistan, led to several civilian casualties.

Thakur, an MP from India’s ruling BJP, quoted the incident as an example of why he believed the time was not right for a cricket series with Pakistan.

India and Pakistan played a full-fledged Test and ODI series last time in 2007-08 in India. —Agencies

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