BCCI to appeal for Pakistan games in neutral venues
NEW DELHI, April 29 (Reuters) - The Indian cricket board will ask the government to allow bilateral matches with Pakistan in neutral venues, a cricket official said on Tuesday.
"We will soon request the Prime Minister to consider allowing matches against Pakistan in neutral venues," Rajiv Shukla, a senior member of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) told Reuters.
The Indian government banned all bilateral matches between the two sides in 2000 because of political tensions between the countries surrounding the disputed state of Kashmir.
It has not opposed meetings in multi-country events in neutral venues and the two countries played each other for the first time in almost three years at the World Cup in South Africa in March. India won by six wickets.
The government rejected a BCCI request last month to resume bilateral matches with Pakistan after the board said the team would otherwise be isolated from world cricket.
There have been signs however of a political thaw in the last few days and the Prime Ministers of the two countries spoke to each other by telephone on Monday. It was the first contact between the leaders for 18 months.
BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya is expected to discuss the issue with his Pakistan counterpart Tauqir Zia next week in Dubai during an Asian Cricket Foundation (ACF) meeting.
"We will be happy if the government allows us to play at least in neutral venues," said BCCI secretary Karunakaran Nair. "We want to somehow resume bilateral cricket."
Nair said senior board members would discuss the issue by the end of May.
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