Karachi: Pakistan remains optimistic about playing a full series with India later this year despite reports that the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) has refused to send its team to Pakistan due to security concerns and also has ruled out the possibility of playing at any neutral venue.
The Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf, who returned home with the national team on Monday, said that there was still lot of time left before the proposed series in August.
"It is a wrong impression that India has ruled out playing Pakistan. No decisive talks were held with them in New Delhi. I discussed certain options with them and we are hopeful that in time India will also come to Pakistan," Ashraf said.
He said that in coming months discussions would continue with the BCCI and the recent ODI series in India was a major breakthrough as bilateral ties have now been resumed.
"This series was very important for both countries and it is a way forward. I remain optimistic about future ties and matches," Ashraf said. Ashraf said that there was a proposal to even allow Pakistan to host its series in India this year.
"We did make such a proposal in our meetings with them but nothing is final as yet," he said. He also made it clear that the response of the people of both countries towards the series indicated just how much they had missed Indo-Pak bilateral cricket contests.
A PCB official said that the BCCI officials have refused to make any commitments at such during the recent meetings in New Delhi.
He admitted that the BCCI officials were apprehensive of sending their team to Pakistan in the existing security situation in the country. "And they don't have a policy of playing series at neutral venues and they are unwilling to change it," the official said.
However, the official further stated that the series could still be possible as BCCI was considering the proposal to let PCB host its series in India. Ashraf also said that Bangladesh had not refused to tour Pakistan but they are yet to work out the time frame and schedule for the series.
The official said the PCB was working to address the security concerns of the Bangladesh Cricket Board.