Pakistan issue India a deadline, doesn’t rule out a boycott

KOLKATA: In spite of hostile political climate between the arch-rivals, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shahryar Khan is hopeful that a bilateral series with India is still a possibility in December. Khan, a former diplomat, told NDTV in Kolkata on Thursday that PCB and Board of Control for Cricket in India officials will discuss the future of the much-anticipated tour during an ICC meeting in Dubai next week.

BCCI officials have gone on record in recent weeks saying that a bilateral series with Pakistan was looking increasingly doubtful. BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, also a BJP MP, said that cricket cannot be played in a climate of terror but Khan said there was still hope.

“We will discuss the tour in Dubai. India are yet to share their plans. We will wait till end of October to make alternative plans,” Khan said on the sidelines of a condolence meeting for former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya, who died on September 20.

Khan said Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was keen that cricket should go ahead (irrespective of political differences). Several former cricketers are divided on the tour with ex-skipper and coach Javed Miandad saying Pakistan “should not chase” India.

“No we are not chasing India. But we will like to know BCCI’s decision by the end of this month so that we can plan ahead,” Khan said, hinting that Pakistan could boycott India at the international level. “It is an option but not the first option,” Khan said.

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