Anurag Thakur says BCCI open to hosting Pakistan team in India

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May 15, 2015

MUMBAI: From government clearances to broadcasting rights, a number of issues stand between India's scheduled away series against Pakistan in December.

Anurag Thakur is optimistic about the resumption of India-Pakistan bilateral series.

May 15, 2015

MUMBAI: From government clearances to broadcasting rights, a number of issues stand between India's scheduled away series against Pakistan in December.

Anurag Thakur is optimistic about the resumption of India-Pakistan bilateral series.

Despite Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan's recent meetings with the BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya and honorary secretary Anurag Thakur, there is still no clarity whether the tour will go ahead as scheduled in the ICC Future Tours Programme (FOP).

However, the BCCI seems to be open to the idea of hosting Pakistan in India to keep TEN Network, which has the broadcasting rights for Pakistan's home matches, out. BCCI secretary Thakur did not rule out a possibility of staging Pakistan's 'home series' in India later this year, if the government gives the go ahead.

"It is Pakistan's turn to host India. As far as TEN Sports is concerned, talks are on between the two Boards (BCCI and PCB). The ball is in PUB court as it is their prerogative to host the series. There are certain issues related to the Easel Group which are pending in the Court (payment issue)," Thakur replied when asked if India can stage the home series for Pakistan, here on Thursday.

BCCI's long-standing dispute with the Easel group, the owners of TEN Network, could also have a serious impact on the series. If the tour happens in ULE, which has been hosting Pakistan's home matches, TEN Network will be the broadcaster and the BCCI is unlikely to approve that.

Thakur, however, made it clear that in the current scenario India will not tour Pakistan. He also said that at this point in time, the discussions are restricted between the cricket Boards of the two countries. "We have not discussed what the government thinks. There are a lot of issues which the BCCI and the PCB needed to discuss and find a way forward. PCB chairman has put forth his points. In the next few months we (BCCI and PCB) will have further discussions on this," said Thakur who is also a Member of Parliament from the ruling BJP.

Meanwhile, Thakur also informed that BCCI has entered into an agreement with Cricket Australia (CA) in their effort to make the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru a Centre of Excellence. "NCA should be the ultimate Centre of Excellence in the country. If a player from India or some other country has any requirement, it should serve as a one-stop shop to him. It should also be helpful for the umpires, coaches and curators. In the first two-three years we will take the help of CA. They have invested a lot in research and development."

In order to strengthen India's bench strength, the BCCI is also planning to create a window for the India 'A' and under-19 teams to tour abroad, at least twice a year.


Courtesy: India Today