Attack puts India-Pak cricket series in jeopardy

Indian cricket board official confirms planned matches in UAE will only take place if ties improve at government level.

    Indian cricketers have not played a Test match in Pakistan since 2006 [Getty Images]
    Indian cricketers have not played a Test match in Pakistan since 2006 [Getty Images]

    Pakistan's scheduled "home" series against India is in jeopardy following an attack in India's Punjab state that has killed at least 10 people.

    India and Pakistan were scheduled to meet in the UAE for three Tests, five one-day internationals (ODI) and two Twenty20s this December.

    However, according to Anurag Thakur, the BCCI secretary, a resumption in bilateral series is unlikely until the political relationship between the two countries improve.


    Report: Attack in India's Punjab ends with deaths


    "Even today there is a terrorist attack, in Gurdaspur [district]," he told ESPNcricinfo.

    "On one hand there is a rise in terrorist activity from Pakistan. On the other, you can't expect to play a cricket series with Pakistan. For me, the safety and security of my countrymen is more important than a cricket series.

    "This is not the way to go ahead. I was never against the dialogue process. At the same time, if you do not have good relations, you can't have good cricket."

    Police barracks targeted

    Armed men fired at a bus station and entered police barracks in Dinanagar, a town bordering Pakistan.

    It remained unclear who was behind the assault.

    Rajnath Singh, India's home minister, said he had ordered increased security on the border with Pakistan after the incident.

    The two sides have not played a bilateral series for over two years due to the political tension at government level.

     

    Pakistan last toured India in December 2012 for an ODI and T20 series but the teams have not played a Test match since December 2007.

    "Before we step onto the cricket field, it's important to clear the issues between the two boards and the two counties," Thakur said.

    "If we don't clear those issues, it wouldn't be possible to enter that territory."

    Shahryar Khan, Pakistan Cricket Board's chairperson, had earlier told Al Jazeera that the series was on track but the board was awaiting a green light from the Indian government.

    "The BCCI signed an MOU about a year ago to play five series in eight years," Khan had said before Monday's attack in Punjab.

    "The first is scheduled for the UAE later this year. But the MOU was signed and cleared by the Manmohan Singh government. So now we should ask the new government for another clearance. I don’t think that’s a major factor so we’re still hopeful."

    India tightened security after armed men fired at a bus station and entered police barracks in Dinanagar on Monday [AFP]

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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