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No question of playing in India, insists PCB 

Lahore, Nov 16 (IANS) Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan on Monday made it clear that its team will not play a bilateral series in India as desired by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

A day after he said that BCCI president Shashank Manohar had offered to host Pakistan in December, Khan asserted that the series would only be possible if India plays in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which acts as Pakistan’s home venue ever since the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team here.

BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur had earlier pointed out that the Indian government would not give them permission to play Pakistan in the UAE.

“There is no question of playing in India. I am still awaiting the reason of not playing in UAE,” Khan was quoted as saying by espncricinfo.

Khan said Pakistan had already played two away series in India and he failed to understand why the Indian government would not allow the players to compete in the UAE when the first leg of the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) 2014 edition was held there.

“We went there in 2007 and 2012. This time not again. It is our series and we will play at our home venue which is the UAE. What is the problem playing in UAE as they had also played their IPL there, so why not Pakistan series?” the PCB chief asked.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2014 between the two cricket boards, Pakistan were meant to host India for a home series comprising two Tests, five One-Day Internationals (ODI) and two Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is).

However, it is understood that only about a month’s window is available for the series as India travel to Australia on January 8 for limited-over contests from January 12.

According to a PCB official, Pakistan would not mind a similar limited overs series’ and drop Tests, considering the profits would amount to the same.

Before both sides start dealing with the details, the PCB is waiting for the BCCI to send a formal proposal which Khan had asked for from Manohar during their telephonic conversation last Friday.

Khan was also of the opinion that the issue would eventually be decided not by the PCB, but by the Pakistan government.

If Pakistan do end up travelling to India, another key question that needs attention is who gets telecast rights. Currently Ten Sports is host broadcaster for the PCB while Star India holds the broadcasting rights for matches organised by the BCCI.

Ten Sports chief executive Rajeev Sethi told espncricinfo that the matter was for the BCCI and the PCB to sort out.

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