Zaka yet to get govt nod for India tour

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The Pakistan government has still not given approval to PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf’s planned India trip for holding talks with BCCI officials to discuss bilateral ties, it was learnt Monday. Ashraf said the government is also yet to give clearance to the Board to confirm the next year’s bilateral Test series with India. “We are expecting the government clearance for my visit and also for the series,” Ashraf said. Ashraf is due to visit India this month on the invitation of his Indian counterpart after he wrote a letter to the BCCI emphasising the importance of resuming bilateral cricket ties between the two countries. According to the FTP, Pakistan is due to tour India in March-April for a Test and one-day series but the dates are yet to be finalised. The PCB Chairman last month said Pakistan was willing to even send its team to India to play the series if it helped restore bilateral ties that have been suspended since 2008 after the Mumbai terror attacks. But Ashraf said that Pakistan was keeping its option of playing the series at a neutral venue open. “We are trying to see if the series can also be played at a neutral venue as one of the options available to us,” he said. Ashraf said people on both sides of the border were eagerly looking forward to the series and that is why government clearance had been sought in advance.