LAHORE: Arch-rivals Pakistan and India will play six bilateral series in Future Tours Programme (FTP) after Narayanaswami Srinivasan of India was elected chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Australia. Pakistan did not oppose the election of Srinivasan and has been rewarded with a six-series agreement. A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesman told Daily Times on Thursday it now had ‘binding agreements’ with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for Pakistan to play India in six series that had been inked into the FTP between 2015 and 2023. The fixtures were confirmed at the ICC’s annual conference in Melbourne. “India has officially turned the Memorandum of Understanding signed earlier this year with regard to six rubbers between the two nations, four of these to be hosted by the PCB in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or Pakistan with mutual consent, into binding agreements straightaway,” the PCB spokesman added.
India suspended all bilateral series with Pakistan in the wake of 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai, which New Delhi blamed on militants based across the border. Pakistan did tour India for a short limited over series in December 2012-January 2013 but a full series was not agreed by the BCCI. Pakistan has not hosted any international cricket since terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009. When the series goes ahead it will mark the biggest success for Pakistan in recent years after a prolonged isolation at the international level due to security fears. The cricket matches between Pakistan and India are widely seen as the most sought after in cricket globally, with billions watching them on television around the world.
The spokesman also claimed that the PCB had been granted the fourth largest share of ICC revenue - after India, England and Australia - over the next eight years following the restructuring of the revenue distribution model. The PCB had initially opposed constitutional changes and a new financial model backed by ‘Big Three’ but later offered ‘conditional’ support in return for concessions. “All the three major concessions that PCB chairman Najam Sethi was promised have been secured. The ICC confirmed that its next president will be from Pakistan for a one-year term from June 2015. Through good planning, the PCB has been able to get maximum advantage for Pakistan cricket from an extremely precarious position. PCB chief Sethi has played a very important role in accomplishing all our objectives. And we are positive that in the times to come Pakistan cricket will greatly benefit from what the PCB has been able to obtain for it today,” he concluded.
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