Pakistan are always there to play bilateral cricket, but we won't run after BCCI to make things happen: Ehsan Mani

Pakistan are always there to play bilateral cricket, but we won’t run after BCCI to make things happen: Ehsan Mani

Mani's comments come weeks after he had said India-Pakistan bilateral cricket is good for the global health of the sport.

Virat Kohli Inda ICC Champions Trophy
India’s captain Virat Kohli (C) shakes hands with Pakistan players. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Due to the stern relations in the governments of both the countries, India and Pakistan have not played bilateral cricket since January 2013, which involved 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs. The neighbours’ last Test encounter way back in 2007-08 during a bilateral series.

Due to the competitiveness and pressure in an India-Pakistan encounter, the arch-rivals have always produced enthralling games for the spectators. However, due to the absence of bilateral cricket between the neighbours, cricket fans have been deprived of witnessing one of the greatest rivalries in the sport.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani, over the absence of bilateral cricket between the arch-rivals, has said that ‘we always there to play’ bilateral cricket. However, Mani maintained that they won’t run after the BCCI to make things happen in the near future.

It is their call when they are ready to play: Ehsan Mani

“I have taken the view, and I have let it be known to the BCCI, that we are always there to play, but we are not going to be running after them. It is their call when they are ready to play, we will be willing to play,” Mani said during a discussion with cricket authors Peter Oborne and Richard Heller in a podcast.

Despite not locking horns in any bilateral series, India and Pakistan have dished out several nail-biting thrillers as they’ve been meeting in major events like the World Cups and Asia Cup tournaments. The last encounter between them was in the 2019 World Cup, where India, led by Virat Kohli, defeated Pakistan by 89 runs at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Mani’s comments come weeks after he had said India-Pakistan bilateral cricket is good for the global health of the sport. Former Pakistan skipper Waqar Younis had also weighed on the resumption of bilateral series between both the countries. He had recently said that fans from both countries will be in favour of such a move.

“If you go and ask people of both the countries on whether Pakistan and India should play each other, everyone, around 95% of them will agree, that cricket between these two should be played. Be it ‘Imran-Kapil Series’ or ‘Independence Series’ or whatever name we give to it, I think that it would be the biggest hit of the world,” Waqar Younis had said during a chat show QT20 for GloFans.