New Delhi: Cricketing relations between India and Pakistan could be heading for a thaw with reports that Pakistan will visit India for the first time since 2007, for a short limited-overs series in December-January. According to sources within the BCCI, India could host Pakistan for three ODIs and one Twenty20 during the short span of time that the England cricket team goes home for Christmas and before it returns for the ODI leg of its tour.
CNN-IBN has learned that the BCCI is considering creating a window in the Christmas and New Year period to accommodate the short visit by Pakistan. England, who are touring India from November to January, playing four Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20s, go home on December 22 and return on January 3. However, the first ODI is not scheduled until January 11. Pakistan are also scheduled to tour Zimbabwe in January but are likely to adjust that.
Relations between India and Pakistan broke down after the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. Since then there have been no bilateral series between the two countries and the only three meetings have come in tri-series or ICC events.
This has also led to Pakistan being the only major Test nation without representation in the Champions League Twenty20 [which is organised by the Indian, South African and Australian boards] and the IPL, much to the PCB’s dissatisfaction.
India were due to tour Pakistan in January 2009 but that series was cancelled following the 26/11 attacks. As per the ICC's Future Tours Programme, Pakistan were scheduled to tour India for three Tests and five ODIs in March-April 2012, but that series was cancelled after the Indian government did not clear it. In its place the Asia Cup was held in Bangladesh.
If this short limited-overs series materialises, it will be the first bilateral meeting in five years between the two countries.