England ‘offers’ to be neutral venue for India-Pakistan Test series, BCCI ‘not interested’ | Cricket News

LONDON: England and Wales Cricket Board has unofficially offered to host if India and Pakistan plan to play a round of bilateral Tests, but BCCI sources have said the chances of that happening in the near future are “almost zero”.
The British daily ‘Telegraph’ reported that “Martin Darlowvice-chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, held talks with the Pakistan Cricket Board during the current Twenty20 series and offered the English ground as an ideal venue for a three-game Test series in the future.”
While the ECB made the offer for its own business gains, the powers that be within BCCI scoffed at the suggestions and said that none of these opportunities could arise at least in the next few years.
“First of all, the ECB spoke with pcb about an Indo-Pak series and that’s kinda weird. In any case, a series against Pakistan is not something that the BCCI will decide but it is the decision of the government. For now, the position remains the same. We only play Pakistan in multi-team events,” a senior BCCI official familiar with India’s position told PTI on Tuesday.
India and Pakistan last played a short bilateral white ball series in 2012 in India and the last Test series was in 2007.
With strained political relations between neighbours, it’s a big ‘no’ from BCCI whether played at home, away or at a neutral venue.
The newspaper indicates precisely the reason why the ECB made this “generous offer”.
“The matches would draw large crowds in the UK, which has a large South Asian expatriate population,” he said.
“The matches attract huge revenue from sponsorship and television audiences.”
However, the document made it clear that even “PCB is not keen to play India in a neutral venue, but is grateful for the ECB’s offer, which shows the growing relationship between the two councils.”
He said with major nations starting to tour Pakistan again, it would be a “step backwards in their eyes” if they happened to play at a neutral venue.

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