India confirmed their participation for next month's Champions Trophy where they will take on Pakistan in their opening game in Edgbaston on June 4, and now the PCB have asked the BCCI why the two teams cannot play a bilateral series at a neutral venue when they play each other in ICC events.
PCB’s query comes a week after they issued a ‘notice of dispute’ against the BCCI wherein they demanded $69.57 million as compensation for not honoring the agreement to play six series over eight years, the first of which was to be held in 2015.
The PCB believes that the BCCI does not have a genuine reason to avoid a bilateral series against them at a neutral venue.
“We would like BCCI to tell us why India has refused to play Pakistan these past couple of years. If the Government of India is refusing BCCI permission, then BCCI has to show us a letter stating this. It also has to justify why it thinks there is a security problem playing Pakistan in a mutually agreed neutral venue, like the UAE or Sri Lanka. We need to know what the problem is. India has to talk to us and resolve this,” PCB's executive committee chairman Najam Sethi was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.
Indo-Pak encounters have always been highly anticipated affairs and big money spinners with broadcasters and advertisers expecting record eyeballs for these much-hyped clashes. And the June 4th is no different, with the tickets already sold out and now being sold in black.
The windfall from these games
Meanwhile, as far as Pakistan’s notice is concerned, the BCCI are all set to apply a wait and watch approach. "We will give an appropriate response to Pakistan’s notice. But as this issue has been put up in the ICC dispute redressal forum, which follows British law, we will take some time and careful word the reply,” an unnamed BCCI source told the newspaper.
Unfortunately for the PCB, the Indian government doesn’t seem to keen on resuming sporting ties with Pakistan. As Sports Minister Vijay Goel recently said, “Terrorism and sports can’t go along together. The sporting relations between India and Pakistan can be cordial only after Pakistan stops sponsoring cross-border terrorism. India takes these things very seriously.”