BCCI to seek govt clearance


The BCCI’s invitation to Sialkot Stallions, Pakistan’s domestic T20 champs, to play in the Champions League T20 had raised hopes of a revival of bilateral cricketing ties between India and Pakistan soon. However, it is now learnt that there is no clarity about when the proposed series could happen. In fact, there is uncertainty about the participation of Pakistani cricketers even in the IPL. Despite repeated requests from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to resume cricket ties with India and push its players in the IPL, the BCCI is unable to offer any immediate solutions.
The Board is yet to get a “go ahead” from the Indian Government. And this one will have to come from the highest authorities in the government – who may not be in a tearing hurry to say yes. Despite a hectic international calendar at home till March next year, BCCI are considering a one-off series against Pakistan, but only after the government gives a clear indication. Sources say that the BCCI officials will approach the authorities once again to seek a clear directive with regards to Pakistan’s trip to India. “We will announce the arrival of the Pakistani team only after the government gives us the nod to allow Pakistan players in India. As far as the BCCI is concerned, the Board will do whatever it takes to revive the series, but we can’t commit when Pakistan will tour India,” a top BCCI official, who didn’t want to be named, Times of India reported.
Whenever a national team comes to India for a series, the concerned body first takes permission from the Home Ministry, who in turn clears the tours. However, BCCI can’t follow the same protocol in case of Pakistan. As of now, the Board is only committed to ensure that Pakistan’s domestic champions T20 champs, the Sialkot Stallions will play in the CLT20. Incidentally, the Pakistan T20 champs may not play on Indian soil at all. That is because South Africa has expressed the interest to host the event this year, which has the BCCI backing. The venue for the T20 event will be announced after the CLT20 governing council meeting in Malaysia on June 25.