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Pakistan, India agree to play cricket series in Sri Lanka

Both governments give go-ahead for series

By our correspondents
November 27, 2015
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan and Indian governments on Thursday gave the go-ahead to their respective cricket boards to play a short limited-overs series in Sri Lanka.
Five limited overs matches, including a three-match one-day series and two Twenty20 matches, are expected to start in Sri Lanka from December 15.“The government has no issue in playing a short cricket series against India in Sri Lanka next month. We would always encourage sports exchanges and are looking forward two countries,” Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said while talking to media.
The official approval from the government, however, has yet to reach Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters.
“We have yet to receive any official response in writing from the PM Office. Once we get that we would be in a position to officially confirm that. Hopefully in a couple of days time PM’s approval would be with us,” PCB chairman Shaharyar M Khan said Thursday.
The PCB had approached the Prime Minister Office after chairman Shaharyar M Khan held meeting with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) head Shashank Manohar in Dubai last week.
Pakistan was interested to play the series at the neutral venue in the UAE while BCCI was more inclined towards inviting Pakistan to India for the series.
However, at the end both agreed to play the series in Sri Lanka. Both teams have not played bilateral series against each other since 2007, though in between Pakistan visited India for three-match one-day series in 2013.
The News has learnt from well-placed sources that the series would see India’s multinationals having the major say in finalising sponsorship and other formalities associated with such a high profile international engagement.
Now when Indian and Pakistani governments have given go-ahead to the series, it would be billed as Pakistan home series, paving the way for a return series in India next season. That return series is expected to be a full-fledged one also involving Test and limited overs series.
Currently, the ECB president Giles Clarke is working on the details and finalising schedule of the proposed series which is expected to be announced soon.It has been learnt that Indian multinationals have been asked to directly approach the PCB if these are interested in getting the title sponsorship or other related sponsorship.
“Irrespective of which company has applied, once we receive official confirmation from the PM, we would see which multinational is tabling the best offer and whether that offer is in accordance with the PCB laid down rules,” a PCB official said.