Pakistan no longer pursuing bilateral series with India: Ehsan Mani

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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani. Photo: AFP

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani has reiterated his disinterest in having a bilateral series with India, citing the Indian government's intervention into the matters of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) - something which the International Cricket Council (ICC) does not permit. 

The PCB boss, in an online interview with IANS, said that the ICC should approach the BCCI and sort the matter as it is mandatory for the Indian board to seek approval before playing against Pakistan. 

He further said that the Indian board will have to approach the PCB if interested for a future series. 

"I am not talking to the BCCI about bilateral cricket. It is up to them to speak to us if they have something to say. The ICC constitution says there should be no government interference," Mani said.

Mani said that discussions on resuming bilateral cricket  between the two countries could not be possible due to rising political tension. 

"Over the years, the PCB has had a number of discussions with the BCCI regarding bilateral cricket. At this moment I don’t have any intention of playing any T20 league with India. First, they have to sort out the bilateral (political) relations with us, and then we will talk."

India and Pakistan haven’t locked horns in a Test match since the 2007 series when the Men in Green traveled to India for a full series. The two sides have played against each other only in ICC events or the Asia Cup.

He also opened up about the cordial relations that the BCCI and PCB enjoyed during the '90s when the likes of Jagmohan Dalmiya and Madhavrao Scindia were at the helm the cricketing body in India. 

"I had enough discussions with Mr Dalmiya; not just him but with Mr Sharad Pawar and going back to the time of Mr Madhavrao Scindia. We have had very, very good and open relations with the BCCI. Over the last 12 years, I find the relationship is not what it used to be. There has to be trust and openness on both sides -- and honesty in dealing with each other," he said.

He expressed surprise over how the relationship had deteriorated in recent times.

"To find that the relationship was not what it used to be, I was surprised and disappointed when I came back (as PCB chairman in August 2018). A lot of improvement can be done on this. We could talk to anybody (in normal times), but it takes two hands to clap," he said. 

Pakistan no longer pursuing bilateral series with India: Ehsan Mani