Sports

Pakistan NSA rules out cricket with India

KARACHI: Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz on Monday ruled out a potential cricket series against India, saying he saw no chance of a revival of ties between the arch-rivals under “the current situation”.

Aziz’s remarks come with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) awaiting a final response from their Indian counterparts on a series due to be played in December-January in United Arab Emirates.

“I see no chance of cricket between Pakistan and India under the current situation,” Aziz told Pakistani media in Islamabad. “We need to make (the) situation favourable for cricket and other things.”

“Our board (the PCB) is in contact with Indian officials on cricket so they are in a better position to tell the exact situation but I am not very hopeful,” he added.

India agreed to play six Test series with Pakistan between 2015-2023 after the PCB agreed to reforms to the International Cricket Council (ICC), the sport’s governing body, last year which gave hefty powers, and revenues, to cricket’s big three — India, Australia and England.

But all the series were subject to clearance from the respective governments.

India called off most sporting fixtures between the two countries after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which were planned by militants in Pakistan, though they did play a limited-overs series in 2012.

Relations between the South Asian nuclear rivals are near their lowest ebb, marred by continued violations along their de facto border this year and the cancellation of talks between national security advisors in August.

PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan has said he hopes a meeting with Indian counterparts on the sidelines of an ICC meeting in Dubai this week will settle the matter.

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