Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja is still hopeful of reviving bilateral cricket between India and Pakistan through a four-nation tournament that he had proposed last year. After the conclusion of the T20 World Cup 2021 last year, the PCB chief had taken to Twitter to inform that he was going to propose an annual four-nation T20I series involving India, Pakistan, England and Australia to the ICC.
However, when asked about the PCB chief’s plan, BCCI secretary Jay Shah had earlier this year had termed it a ‘short-term commercial initiative’ while hinting that BCCI had no plans to be part of the series. However, Raja has not given up hopes on convincing the BCCI to let India also be part of the tournament and has said he will soon hold talks regarding the same with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly.
India and Pakistan, who share one of the greatest rivalries in cricket, have not played against each other in a bilateral series since 2013 due to the political tensions between the two nations. However, Raja believes politics should be kept aside when it comes to cricket as he gears up to talk to Ganguly during the upcoming Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting in Dubai on March 19.
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Raja also stated that if India does not agree to be part of the tournament, he will propose an annual three-nation event involving Pakistan, England and Australia.
“I will talk to Sourav Ganguly about it when we meet for the ACC meeting in Dubai. Both of us are former captains and players and for us, cricket is not about politics. Even if India does not go with us on this proposal, we will think about launching an annual three-nation event with Australia and England in Pakistan,” Raja told reporters in Karachi, as per PTI.
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India and Pakistan have met each other only in major ICC events since 2013. The last meeting between the two sides came during the T20 World Cup 2021 last year where Babar Azam-ed Pakistan defeated India by ten wickets to register their first win against their arch rivals in World Cup history.
Pakistan have also won the hosting rights for the 2022 edition of the Asia Cup and is confident of India visiting Pakistan for the tournament. However, the PCB chief admitted they will have to find some other way if BCCI refuses to send the Indian team to Pakistan.
“I think they will come and if they don’t travel to Pakistan we will see what can be done,” Raja said.