The frosty relations between India and Pakistan notwithstanding, there may be hope of the two arch-rivals facing each other in a bilateral series after all, if reports are to be believed.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is said to have approached the Home Ministry, seeking the latter's permission to engage in a bilateral series with their arch-rivals.
According to a report on cricketnext, BCCI chief CK Khanna confirmed that the Board had sent a mail to the Home Ministry seeking clearance for the same, and added that the issue will be further discussed in the Special General Meeting (SGM), to be held on 9 April in New Delhi.
The BCCI apparently intends to honour its commitment of six bilateral series made to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), having signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the same back in 2014, which was meant to be part of the Future Tours Programme (FTP).
A report on Geo News stated that the BCCI has proposed a series consisting of three Tests, five ODIs and two T20Is between the months of September and November this year, with the article further stating that the PCB has suggested Dubai as a neutral venue.
While the latest developments would make the die-hard cricket fans in both nations happy, there are contradictory reports of the PCB chief Shahryar Khan stating that there hasn't been any such communication to this effect from his Indian counterpart so far.
"I got to know about this development through Indian media. The BCCI is probably afraid of the International Cricket Board (ICC) and therefore wants to play the series now," Khan was quoted as saying according to Dawn.
With the rising tensions between the two countries, especially since the terror attack on the Pathankot Air Force Station in 2016 as well as the Uri Attacks that took place later that year, at least two of the proposed six series haven't taken place as per schedule. Anurag Thakur, who had taken over as the BCCI chief after Shashank Manohar's resignation, had made his stand against playing cricket with Pakistan very clear. Thakur, who is a MP in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, had said that "there was no question of playing cricket with Pakistan."
While India and Pakistan continue to produce high-octane clashes in ICC events as well as in the Asia Cup, the two sides have not played a bilateral series since Pakistan toured India for two T20Is and three ODIs in the 2012-13 season. The last time the two sides played a Test series was back in 2007, which hosts India won 1-0.