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PCB Chief’s focus: Hosting Champions Trophy takes priority

LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Mohsin Naqvi has expressed openness to the prospect of bilateral cricket series with India, contingent upon India sending its team to Pakistan for the ICC Champions Trophy next year. Speaking to reporters in Lahore, Naqvi addressed recent remarks made by Indian captain Rohit Sharma, who praised the Pakistan cricket team and expressed enthusiasm for playing them in a Test series overseas.

“Look, if any options in this regard come we will consider it, but our target right now is to host the Champions Trophy and first let India come for the tournament,” he said.

The last bilateral limited overs series between the two cricketing giants occurred in 2012-13, when Pakistan toured India. However, India has refrained from engaging in Test matches with Pakistan since 2007. Despite a rich history of rivalry, the absence of Test matches between the two nations has been notable.

India’s decision not to participate in last year’s Asia Cup matches held in Pakistan underscored the complexities of bilateral cricket relations between the two nations. Consequently, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) had to adopt a hybrid model for the event, with a significant portion of matches hosted in Sri Lanka.

Naqvi’s statement signals a potential thaw in cricketing relations between India and Pakistan, offering hope to fans eager to witness the resumption of bilateral series. The prospect of both teams competing in the ICC Champions Trophy could serve as a catalyst for renewed collaboration in cricket diplomacy.

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