x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

PCB to use diplomatic channels to save tour

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt is ready to travel to India to "convince" government officials to proceed with the scheduled tour.

KARACHI // The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt is ready to travel to India to "convince" government officials to proceed with the scheduled tour. The Board of Control for Cricket in India have maintained that they are willing to travel, but would be forced to pull out if their Ministry of External Affairs refuse to grant permission. The PCB are open to the option of shifting the tour to a neutral venue if India refuse to travel, but only in a "worst case scenario". "We are not even thinking about having the series anywhere else except Pakistan," Butt said. "Playing at some neutral venue is an extreme and last option.

"I am willing to even travel to India to personally talk to BCCI officials and the government and convince them it is absolutely imperative for them to undertake the scheduled tour." Butt is also planning to ask the Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari and prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to intervene and save the tour. "There are security issues, but India have been to Pakistan thrice in the last four years and have had no problems playing here," added Butt. "The tour is of great importance for us because if India do not travel, then we stand the risk of losing the Champions Trophy.

"We will also have other teams such as Sri Lanka pulling out of scheduled tours." * PA Sport