Pakistan and India are set to face off on June 4 in the Champions Trophy – they continue to play each other in global tournaments © IDI/Getty Images
The deadlock on bilateral cricket between India and Pakistan continues after the meeting between the two boards in Dubai on Monday. Even as the government of India reiterated earlier in the day that there cannot be any bilateral cricket given the current strained relations between the countries, the PCB remained hopeful of continued deliberations. The two boards could meet – again, informally – in England during the Champions Trophy. ESPNcricinfo understands that if these meetings cannot find a resolution, under the ICC dispute resolution procedures, there will have to be a formal meeting the ICC CEO’s in presence.
On Monday, the BCCI is known to have conveyed its earlier position: that it cannot play bilateral cricket with Pakistan without the clearance of the government, and that such a clearance was not forthcoming. The meeting was held after the PCB had sent a notice of dispute to the BCCI, claiming losses for the BCCI’s refusal to tour in 2015. After receiving the notice, the BCCI sought the government’s permission again, which it conveyed to the PCB. The PCB’s response then invoked a provision in the MoU for dialogue should a series not go ahead.
The said MoU to play six bilateral series from 2015 to 2023 was signed between the two boards in 2014. Although the BCCI indicated this MoU was “just a letter” and not a formal “contract”, it has responded to both the times the PCB has invoked dispute resolution.
The next meeting between the two boards could take place in Birmingham, where India play Pakistan in the Champions Trophy. They could also have more interaction during the next round of ICC meetings.
India continue to play Pakistan in multi-team events, as they did in Kolkata in the World T20 last year. India were supposed to play away against Pakistan in 2015, and are scheduled to host them in 2017.
In 2015, the BCCI had offered PCB a series at home, which the PCB declined. India in turn refused to play Pakistan’s home series at a neutral venue without specifying any reasons. “We are not asking any permission from the government,” the then BCCI president Shashank Manohar had told ESPNcricinfo. “We are not playing in UAE. That is certain. There are reasons. But I don’t want another debate on that. So I will not tell you the reasons.”
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