Cricket Australia willing to host bilateral series if BCCI and PCB willing to normalise ties

Cricket Australia has restated its readiness to host a bilateral series between India and Pakistan if the BCCI and PCB agree to future matches.

India and Pakistan’s men’s teams are scheduled to be in Australia simultaneously in November this year, as CA announced Australia’s upcoming home summer schedule. Pakistan will play three ODIs and T20Is before India commences a five-Test series just four days later on November 22. However, the possibility of matches between the two nations as part of these visits was never realistically considered.

India and Pakistan have not engaged in a bilateral series since 2012-13, with their meetings currently limited to global ICC events.

Following the successful 2022 T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan at the MCG, attended by 90,293 spectators for a last-ball thriller, CA, the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCG operators), and the Victorian government expressed interest in hosting bilateral matches at the MCG between the two teams.

CA chief executive Nick Hockley reiterated this desire during the announcement of Australia’s home schedule at the MCG on Wednesday.

“The India-Pakistan game at the MCG was one of the most memorable occasions, not just in sports, that I’ve ever experienced,” he said. “There is a strong desire to witness that contest again. We would be delighted to host such matches if the opportunity arises. We are eager to welcome Pakistan and India and contribute in any way we can. However, a bilateral series primarily depends on others making it happen.”

CA’s head of scheduling Peter Roach acknowledged on Tuesday that there is also interest in hosting a tri-series involving India and Pakistan, as was last seen during the 1999-2000 season, rather than just a neutral bilateral series if feasible. However, he mentioned that there is currently no room in the FTP (Future Tours Program) for such a tri-series.

“We do not have a tri-series in the FTP,” Roach stated. “Looking ahead, we are always open to opportunities for matches and contests that will captivate our fans. It’s safe to say that every country would like to see India and Pakistan play in their territories.

“We have expressed our interest in hosting such matches. However, there is no space in the schedules for that at present. We will continue discussions and explore other opportunities, but in this specific scenario, there won’t be any changes to the schedule.”

India and Pakistan are all set to play against each other in a group stage at the T20I World Cup to be held in the US and West Indies. The match will take place om June 9 at the newly constructed Nassau County International Stadium in New York’s Long Island area in the United States.

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