Will be happy if Pakistan, India series takes place: ICC chief

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Despite looming uncertainty over the proposed Pakistan-India bilateral series, International Cricket Council (ICC) CEO Dave Richardson said on Saturday he was hopeful the series would take place.

“One of the things that we have spoken about in the [ICC board] meeting is the success of the Test series like the Ashes and, hopefully, the Freedom Series between India and South Africa. This [Pakistan-India] is just another iconic series waiting to happen. Purely from a cricket point of view, we would be very happy for that series to take place,” Richardson said, DNA India reported.

Further, Richardson refuted media reports claiming Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shahryar Khan had threatened to boycott India in ICC events if the series was cancelled.

“It wasn’t mentioned in the meetings at all. The PCB and all other full members have signed participating agreements to partake in our events wherever they are,” he said.

Asked whether the ICC will impose a fine if PCB decides not to play against India in such events, Richardson said, ”Well, the agreement that they have signed is an agreement. If you breach an agreement, then there are consequences. But as far as I am concerned, it is not even coming close to it.”

Further, Richardson said he was confident that India would be good hosts for the World T20 scheduled for March next year. “Over the last 10 years or so, the BCCI has held and staged a number of big cricket events. They have the ability to stage events and they have improved tremendously. We have utmost faith that they are going to put on a good tournament.”

“At the moment we are in discussion with the BCCI over the schedule. Once that is concluded in the next few days, we will hold an official launch of the tournament towards the end of October. We will look to make it the biggest and the best World T20 that we have had till date,” he added.

However, regarding the current situation in India with Hindu right-wing party Shiv Sena demanding cancellation of events of Pakistani artists and the book launch of former Pakistani foreign minister, Richardson said they will have to keep that in mind while finalising the schedule. ”I think that is a consideration that we have to bear in mind while finalising the match schedule. The security position as far as Pakistan in Mumbai is concerned is correct,” he said.

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