Cricket chief hopes Pakistan to play India in 2014
ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Pakistan Cricket Board chairman said he has hopes his country might play a cricket series with archrival India in late 2014 after discussions with his Indian counterpart during an Asian Cricket Council meeting in Hong Kong.
Pakistan cricket chief Najam Sethi said late Thursday after returning from Hong Kong that he was told by N. Sirinivasan, president of Board of Control for Cricket in India, that he would consider a series for next year following general elections in India.
The PCB chief said there’s no written agreement between the two boards on when and where a series might be played.
If a series is planned, however, India would likely be the host as no foreign team has toured Pakistan since 2009 when gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore. India was due to tour Pakistan in 2009 and again in 2011, but both times the series were postponed due to security concerns.
India and Pakistan played their first bilateral series in five years late last year in India, comprising two Twenty20 matches and three one-day internationals.
Security was tight during the series, with thousands of soldiers and police posted outside the stadium in Bangalore where the opening Twenty20 match was contested on Christmas Day.
Sethi said he doesn’t foresee any international teams visiting Pakistan in the near future due to the country’s instability.
“There’s no one ready to come to Pakistan because of terrorism, ” he said. “We have to take some action ... and only then the world will listen to us.”
Last week, Sethi came under severe criticism at home for hosting Pakistan test and one-day captain Misbah-ul-Haq on his political talk show on a private television channel.
Misbah highlighted the various weaknesses in the Pakistan team after it drew its recent test series against South Africa 1-1 and lost its one-day series 4-1 and Twenty20 series 2-0.
Sethi said Misbah wanted to respond “in a controlled environment” to his critics after Pakistan’s poor form against South Africa.
“We decided that he will be asked all the questions ... and there will be no follow up questions as he wasn’t getting that chance on other TV channels,” Sethi said.
The PCB chief said he had no intentions to drop Misbah before the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand given the recent lackluster results of Pakistan team.
“Misbah will be the captain for 2015 World Cup,” he said.
He added that Pakistanis needed to have more patience with the team.
“If you have to prepare team for the World Cup, you have to give time to youngsters, you have to experiment with them,” he said.