MUMBAI: The officials from Indian and Pakistani cricket boards
have zeroed in on England as the alternate venue to host India's
return tour to Pakistan since the South Asian nation has become
a no-go zone for cricketing nations after the Sri Lankan team
was attacked in Lahore.
was expected to tour Pakistan in early 2009. However, the
bi-lateral series came to nought due to 26/11 terrorist attacks
in Mumbai which had the blessing of elements in the Pakistani
after years of deliberations and intervention from highest
level to normalise bi-lateral relations between the two countries,
the Indian cricket board agreed to invite Pakistan for a short
series including three ODI and two T20.
beneficiary from this abruptly scheduled series is Star India
as it holds the telecast rights of international cricked played
to reports, the BCCI and PCB officials had discussed the possiblity
wherein India would have acted as Pakistan's home venue. The
proposal was dropped considering the fact that it would have
met with stiff resistance domestically.
BCCI is not keen in playing Pakistan in United Arab Emirates,
which has become a regular home venue for Pakistan, since
the Gulf state presents security challenge.
reason England has emerged as hot favourite to host an Indo-Pak
series is due to presence of cricket loving fans besides a
sizeable expat population from South Asia. The time zones
also favour England since it will be evening prime time in
India when the matches are aired on channels.
Sports, which holds the Pakistan board rights till 2013, will
wish India to be reciprocal in accepting the return bi-lateral
series that is rated higher than the Ashes rivalry between
England and Australia.