Sushma Swaraj rules out possibility of Pakistan-India cricket series

NEW DELHI (AFP) The Indian government once again backed out of playing cricket series against Pakistan saying no cricket is to be played between the two nations even at neutral venues for the time being in view of the present state of relations.

According to a Times of India report, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has indicated government’s thinking at a meeting of the consultative committee attached to the ministry that offered a review of relations with neighbours. As per reports, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar was also present at the meeting.

On being asked about restarting long-suspended cricket exchange as part of cricket diplomacy, Mrs Swaraj said there had been various other suggestions on humanitarian lines as well but the high number of cross-border firings do not set the tone for any kind of bilateral engagements. Swaraj is understood to have pointed out that there were over 800 cross-border violations in recent times.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has recently raised objections about Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) FTP schedule for excluding any bi-lateral series with the neighbouring nation. PCB intimated in an official release that they will challenge the new schedules until they get to play against India in a bilateral series.