The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has clarified that it will need government’s approval to play Pakistan in a bilateral series and honor the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the boards had signed three years ago, according to which both countries were scheduled to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023.
Amitabh Choudhary, the BCCI secretary, also mentioned that the MoU was “just a letter” and not a binding “contract”, but said it still wants to fulfill its commitments according to written agreement, provided the government agreed to play Pakistan.
“I can assure you that this is a subject where the government has to accord permission,” Choudhary said.
“I must inform you that the BCCI has already written to the government in March with regard to the FTP with Pakistan. Unless we hear from them, I cannot make a comment. As far as cricket concerned, if it is a contract, both would try to honour.”
“I don’t remember the exact wordings but it is inherent. Honouring of it cannot happen without the government’s permission. In any case it was just a communication, it was just a letter from the secretary of BCCI. So it is not a formal contract as yet.”
Rajeev Shukla, the IPL chairman and a former BCCI vice-president, said the board is not interested in playing Pakistan’s home series at a neutral venue.
“We have had a consistent policy that we will play on each other’s soil,” Shukla said.
“Pakistan’s security situation is not such where you can have a series on their soil. Only Zimbabwe has played a series and no other countries are touring Pakistan. They are not being able to provide adequate security. First, you make your venues such where you can provide fool-proof security. And for India, the security concerns are even more. How can we risk our players?”
Earlier this week, the PCB had sent a notice to the BCCI under the ICC Dispute Resolution Committee’s terms of reference for not fulfilling its obligation under an MoU, which according to the PCB was signed in 2014.
The last time both teams played a full series was back in 2007, which was hosted by India. Pakistan also visited India for a short limited-overs series in December 2012, which was seen as a move to resolve cricketing ties between the countries.