x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Pakistan get Indian invite but ditched by Sri Lanka

Summer heat could be a deterrent for PCB's proposed series against Australia in UAE after the island nation backs off.

India have invited Pakistan to take part in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament this year, breaking new ground in the stalled cricket ties between the arch-rivals.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which met in Chennai yesterday, gave the go-ahead to Pakistan's participation in the event which features leading domestic Twenty20 teams from around the world.

India and Pakistan met in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh in March and the World Cup semi-final in India last year, but regular tours have been frozen since the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

Asked if this was the first step towards reviving relations with Pakistan, Narayanaswami Srinivasan, the BCCI chief, said: "Today, the decision is limited to the Champions League. I don't want to say anything beyond it."

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has dropped plans to host a limited overs series between Pakistan and Australia in August as it clashes with the island's Premier League, Pakistan officials said yesterday.

"It's disappointing," Pakistan Cricket Board's chief operating officer, Subhan Ahmed, said.

"Initially the SLC [Sri Lankan Cricket] offered to host the series and we stopped negotiating with others."

Since Sri Lanka told Pakistan of its decision, Pakistan had started negotiations with other countries about hosting the series, including the UAE and Malaysia, he said.

Dilwar Mani, the chief executive of the Emirates Cricket Board, would not comment yesterday on the chances of Pakistan using the UAE, as with previous "home" tours, but said it is unlikely that sides would agree to play in the heat of a UAE summer.

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