BCCI to Meet Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore Over India Playing Pakistan in ICC Test Championship
New Delhi, Nov 22: India have not played a Test series against Pakistan in a decade and now the Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) has decided to meet Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore to seek clarity on playing against the arch-rivals. While the government has never opposed India playing Pakistan in an International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament, acting BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary had on November 18 commented that the board does not want to face Pakistan in the ICC Test Championship which will see nine international teams in action.
BCCI officials will meet Rathore on Wednesday to discuss about playing Pakistan in the Future Tours Programme and be a part the ICC Test championship. After the last bilateral series between the two countries in 2007-08, India and Pakistan have not toured each other following deterioration in the political relationship and concerns over security.
According to the ICC plan for the Test World Championship, every member team should play each other at least once in at least a three-Test series on home and away formula between 2019 and 2021. According to the ICC member nations are also free to plan more bilateral series during the same period if they are free from other international commitments.
While both India and Pakistan have agreed to the FTP, Choudhary’s comments have come as a spanner in going ahead with the Test Championship. If any team voluntarily decides to not play its rival, then the opponent will be given the points. So not playing Pakistan after being in the FTP can be disastrous for India, who are currently ranked number 1 in Tests.
But Amitabh Choudhary’s statement has not been music for the ears of ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar and Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai. BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and game development manager Ratnakar Shetty have been instructed by CoA to take up the issue of Playing against Pakistan in the ICC Test Championship.
India and Pakistan played their first bilateral Test series in 1952-53. There were a total of five Tests in that series which India won 2-1. The two teams have played each other 59 times in Tests with India winning nine Tests and Pakistan coming out on top in 12 matches. The remaining 38 Tests have ended in a draw.