LAHORE: Pakistan’s cricket chief Tuesday said he was optimistic about a proposed series with arch-rival India as officials from the two countries prepare to meet in Dubai next month.
The current political tension between the two countries, with frequent ceasefire violations on the Line of Control in the disputed Kashmir region, has cast serious doubt over the first full series between the teams since 2007.
Pakistan and India are mulling playing two Tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches in December and January in the United Arab Emirates.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan said he had received a reply to his letter sent to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which promised to hold talks on the sidelines of an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Dubai.
“We have received BCCI’s reply and they have told us that they will meet on the sidelines of the ICC meeting to talk and I have full hopes that the series will happen,” Khan told reporters.
The ICC meeting will be held from October 8-13 in Dubai.
India halted cricket matches with Pakistan in the wake of the 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai, which they blamed on militants based in Pakistan.
Pakistan paid a short visit to India to play two Twenty20 matches and three one-day internationals in December 2012 but that failed to revive the bilateral series between the rivals.
However, a breakthrough seemed possible after Pakistan and India signed a Memorandum of Understanding following the revamp of the ICC last year, agreeing to play six series between 2015-2023.
Khan raised new hopes that the two sides will meet soon following Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s backing of the series.
“It’s a welcome sign that our PM has backed the series and I hope that India will honour the written commitment,” said Khan, who leaves for India on Wednesday.
“My visit is not related to the series as I am going there to condole Jagmohan Dalmiya’s death,” said Khan, in reference to the BCCI president who died last week.