India has agreed to play against Pakistan in the women’s Asia Twenty 20 Cup in Thailand, PCB sources have claimed.
Uncertainty had prevailed over whether India would play Pakistan in the competition, from November 25, after the BCCI President Anurag Thakur had said that he would ask the ICC to not schedule Indo-Pak matches in group stages of its events due to the political and diplomatic tensions between the two countries. But an official source in the Pakistan Cricket Board said on Wednesday that if required India would play Pakistan. “We took this up very strongly at the last ICC meeting in Capetown and India said it had reservations over playing with us in bilalteral series but would play in ICC events,” the source said.
He said the Pakistan delegation head, Najam Sethi had submitted newspaper clippings and video recordings of Anurag Thakur’s statements on Indo-Pak cricket ties including the one on not playing Pakistan in next year’s Champions Trophy.
“Sethi made the point passionately at the ICC meeting that while Pakistan had always advocated keeping politics and sports apart, the BCCI President’s media statements were political. Sethi clearly asked Thakur at the meeting whether or not his statements were not political ones on Indo-Pak relations and he should be very clear on whether India wanted to play with Pakistan in the group or knockout stages of ICC events in future,” the source disclosed.
The source said that Thakur had indicated to the ICC India would have no issues on playing Pakistan in ICC events but could not commit to bilateral ties at the moment until its government gave clearance. “As a result it is clear that India will play us in the women’s Asia T20 Cup and Champions Trophy. Sethi later also had an informal discussion with Thakur on the sidelines of the meeting,” he said.
The source said that the ICC had also asked Pakistan in writing whether it had any issues playing India in the women s league cricket competitions and the PCB had made it clear it was even prepared to play with India in the series in UAE in October but India had pulled out at the last moment. Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Thailand are the participating teams in the women’s Asia T20 Cup. The Pakistan women’s team will reach Thailand directly from New Zealand.