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Game for cricket: India invites Pak for ODI, T20 series

Indo-Pak cricketing ties are set for revival with the BCCI on Monday agreeing to play three ODIs and two T20 matches between the two arch-rivals, who have not played each other in a bilateral series for close to five years. The decision to resume cricketing ties with Pakistan was taken by the Board’s powerful Working Committee, which met in New Delhi on Monday, evoking mixed reactions from former cricketers and fans from both countries.

“It was decided to resume cricketing ties with Pakistan by inviting the Pakistan cricket team for a short series in December 2012–January 2013. The modalities will be worked out shortly,” the BCCI said in a statement after the meeting.

Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi will be the venues for the one-dayers while Bangalore and Ahmedabad will host the two T20 matches. The series will be played in December-January.

“The BCCI Working Committee today (Monday) decided to resume the India vs Pakistan cricket ties inviting them in the third week of December to play three ODIs and two T20 matches,” said senior BCCI official Rajeev Shukla.

“BCCI was firm on its stand that no Indo-Pak series will be held on any neutral venue so it was decided to invite them after December 22 when the England team leaves after playing the Twenty20 Internationals.

The BCCI has scheduled the short series when England returns from its tour of India for the Christmas break.

“This was the slot where the tour could have been accommodated and we did that accordingly. I have spoken to home minister, P Chidambaram and he has said that there is no objection on the part of the ministry. The ministry of external affairs (MEA) has also agreed on having this tour,” said Shukla.

The ties had been snapped after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and there have been several attempts by the Pakistan Cricket Board in recent months to convince the BCCI for a resumption as the contests featuring the two arch-rivals are a huge hit with fans and generate good revenue.

India and Pakistan last played in a bilateral series in November 2007. The series was clinched 3-2 by India.

“The PCB has been very persistent over the past fews years on resuming cricketing ties with Pakistan and if you remember we have also played against Pakistan even after 1971 war and after 1999 Kargil war…we have played a series in Pakistan,” Shukla said.


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