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Pakistan will sign for ICC leagues only if India agrees to play bilateral series against us: Najam Sethi

India and Pakistan have not played a Test match since 2007 against each other.

Najam Sethi
PCB’s Najam Sethi. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

The chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Najam Sethi has cleared his stand by stating that they would sign for ICC leagues if India plays them in bilateral series. The ICC board meeting in Auckland gave the go-ahead to a nine-team Test league over a period of two years starting at the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup. Also, One-Day International league will serve as direct qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup and will be contested by the 12 full members plus the winners of the current ICC World Cricket League Championship.

PCB had also questioned the same thing during the meeting last week but International Cricket Council (ICC) had convinced them by saying that they would find a way of both the teams playing against each other inside or outside the league. However, as of now, the political tensions between countries continue and there are no chances of playing each other anytime soon, leave aside in the leagues.

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India has to honour 2014 MoU

Najam Sethi reinstated that if India honour a Memorandum of Understanding to play bilateral matches then only the board would sign up for the proposed leagues. According to MoU signed in 2014, both were due to play six series between 2014 and 2023, pending clearance from the Indian government. But not even a single series could take place since 2012 when Pakistan had last toured India for ODI and T20I series.

“Pakistan will sign provided 1) We get bilateral matches with India no less than those agreed in the MoU of 2014 and 2) Without prejudice to our legal position viz MoU in which 24 matches are listed in period until 2023,” Sethi told Wisden India. The first of the six series was scheduled for 2015, which the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) did not agree to be played even at a neutral venue, citing no permission from the government. However, it will be interesting to see the response of BCCI over the comment of Sethi.

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