Xtra Time Web Desk: England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Tuesday decided and informally offered to serve as a neutral host for India and Pakistan if they plan to play a bilateral Test series.
United Kingdom’s leading newspaper ‘Telegraph’ reported that “Martin Darlow, the deputy chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, has held talks with the Pakistan Cricket Board during the current T20I series and offered England’s grounds as venues for ideally a three-match Test series in future.”
The newspaper also clarifies the reason behind the ECB’s offer, “the matches would attract big crowds in the UK, which has a large ex-pat south Asian population.”
It is absolutely clear that ECB is seeing huge monetary gains in offering England as a venue for the high demanded India-Pakistan series but BCCI have said that there are no such possibilities for them to play in the near future.
A senior BCCI official stated “Firstly, ECB spoke to PCB about an Indo-Pak series and that’s a bit weird. In any case, a series against Pakistan is not something that the BCCI will decide but it is the decision of the government. As of now, the stance remains the same. We only play Pakistan at multi-team events.”
Not only BCCI but also PCB did not show any such interest regarding ECB’s offer. “PCB is not keen on playing India at neutral venue but are grateful for the ECB’s offer, which shows the growing relationship between the two boards. It stated that with the big nations again starting to tour Pakistan, it will be a “retrograde step in their eyes” if they happen to play in a neutral venue.”
The India and Pakistan matches have always been highly demanded from the fans. Be it Asia Cup or World Cup, tickets always get sold out for these matches rapidly. They have played the last Test series in 2007 and the white ball bilateral series in 2012.