England and Wales Cricket Board has informally offered to be the hosts if India and Pakistan plan to play a bilateral Test series.
But BCCI and PCB are not interested in England’s offer for the India-Pakistan Test series in England.
According to the Telegraph, it was reported that
“Martin Darlow, the deputy chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, has held talks with the Pakistan Cricket Board during the current Twenty20 series and offered England’s grounds as venues for ideally a three-match Test series in future.”
The last bilateral white-ball series between India and Pakistan took place in India in 2012, and the previous Test series was in 2007.
It is a clear “No” from BCCI due to the tense political relations between the neighbors, whether it is played at home, away, or in a neutral venue.
The ECB made the offer for its own financial benefit, but the BCCI’s ruling class laughed off the suggestions and said that no such opportunities might come, at least not in the near future.
A senior BCCI official said that
“Firstly, ECB spoke to PCB about an Indo-Pak series and that’s a bit weird. In any case, a series against Pakistan is not something that the BCCI will decide but is the government’s decision.
As of now, the stance remains the same. We only play Pakistan at multi-team events.”
Reason Behind the ECB’s offer
The newspaper states precisely the reason why the ECB made this offer.
“The matches would attract big crowds in the UK, which has a large ex-pat south Asian population.”
“The matches attract huge sponsorship revenue and television audiences.”
Matches between India and Pakistan draw huge crowds. It attracted a lot of views throughout the most recent Asia Cup 2022 matches as well.
With a sizable south Asian population living in the UK, the ECB made the idea in the hopes that the matches would draw sizable crowds.
When both teams played off against one other in the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup, the estimated television audience was 495 million.
However, the paper made it clear that even “PCB is not keen on playing India at a neutral venue but are grateful for the ECB’s offer, which shows the growing relationship between the two boards.”
It stated that with the big nations again starting to tour Pakistan, it will be a “retrograde step in their eyes” if they play in a neutral venue.
The Indian team ownership in numerous leagues around the world has disappointed Pakistani players.
For instance, the South Africa T20 league in February did not invite Pakistani players because the teams’ owners are Indian, prompting concerns about the impact of private investment on national competitions.
Playing on neutral ground would appear to be more politically acceptable for both countries in this case, though.
Regardless of political differences, the cricket associations and players in both nations get along well.
Pakistan, though, is in serious financial problems as a result of not playing India. For instance, playing India generates more revenue for England and Australia than the Ashes series, demonstrating what Pakistan is losing out on.