New BCCI president-elect Sourav Ganguly has put the resumption of bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan down to the two countries’ respective prime ministers, saying that any future assignments between the two countries would be subject to permission from the Indian government.
“You have to ask that question to [Narendra] Modi ji and the Pakistan Prime Minister,” Ganguly told the press, during a briefing in Kolkata on Tuesday, October 15. “Of course we have [to take permission], because international exposure [tours] is all through governments. So we don’t have an answer to that question.”
Bilateral ties between India and Pakistan have largely remained suspended over the last decade or so. Since 2007, the two teams have engaged in just a solitary bilateral series, when Pakistan visited India for two T20Is and three ODIs in 2012-13.
The problems compounded earlier this year, when an already tense political climate escalated following the Pulwama attack that claimed the lives of 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel.
It led the BCCI to write an email to the ICC, in keeping with the requirement of the three-member Committee of Administrators, asking that ties be severed with “countries from which terrorism emanates”. The CoA had also considered asking the ICC to withdraw Pakistan from the 2019 World Cup.
That did not happen, as Pakistan took part in the ten-team tournament. They clashed with India on 16 June in Manchester, in arguably the most highly-anticipated match of the tournament, and lost by 89 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method, as India extended their unbeaten run against their arch-rivals in 50-over World Cups to seven games.
Ganguly was at the helm when India clinched their maiden Test series victory in Pakistan, in 2003-04, in their sixth attempt. He also slammed his first and only Test double-century in the last Test match between these two countries, in December 2007 in Bengaluru.