India, Pakistan series set to resume from December 2015




The India-Pakistan series scheduled towards the end of this year is under trouble due to broadcast rights issue. The issue has come into limelight after PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan was in India, meeting with the BCCI officials last week.

India, Pakistan series set to resume from December 2015

India, Pakistan series set to resume from December 2015

The rights to Pakistan’s home matches are held by Ten Sports however, the BCCI has always been unsupportive of the owners of the Essel Group. The PCB is tied with Ten Sports because the rights were won in a bid where Ten Sports have committed to pay $60 million more than competitors.

The series which was originally to be held in the Middle East might well now be rescheduled for India. The BCCI letting PCB play the series in India, would give PCB a chunk of the revenues but because it would be in India, it would involve a different broadcaster.

Shaharyar Khan is keen to get the India-Pakistan series under way due to financial troubles in PCB. The fight between the Asian neighbours is one of the largest crowd pullers and huge income generator for the PCB. With the PCB never receiving any formal statement from BCCI regarding Ten Sports or Essel Group, the PCB too cannot keep Ten Sports out of the bidding process.

Ten Sports CEO, Rajesh Sethi, said that they would explore all options to protect themselves if pushed into a corner. He went on to say that the BCCI had never interfered with Ten Sports and that they have never faced any challenges. They group holds the Zimbabwe Cricket’s terrestrial rights for the Indian subcontinent and is in the process of bidding for the Sri Lankan series too.

The BCCI had a well-known cold war with the Essel Group regarding the launch of rebel Cricket League in 2007 based on the T20 tournament preceding the IPL.

Pakistan and India are bound by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was signed last year which includes playing six series between 2015-2023. Assuming Indian government’s approval, four of these series are to be hosted by Pakistan.

The Pakistan cricket chief has reportedly not only met Jagmohan Dalmiya, the BCCI chief but also the information and finance minister. The PCB chief was looking for a green signal from the government of India after the bilateral series were suspended in view of Pakistan’s cold response towards 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

The MoU was signed under a different government. Due to the change in the power at the Indian parliament, now the PCB is trying to seek permission from the Modi government and his ministers. Khan is optimistic after his meetings that the current government will resume the India Pakistan series that could mean a lot of relief for the cross-border tension.

On top of that, all international cricket matches has been banned from being played in Pakistan after Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by terrorists in 2009. Pakistan is planning to host it’s cricket matches in the UAE.

The last time India was in Pakistan to play a cricket match was in 2006 while Pakistan toured India in 2007.

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Anjan K Merkap

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