IPL chief Rajiv Shukla has once again, somewhat, enlightened the chances of an India-Pakistan series as he said that India can even come and play in Lahore if it is made a safe venue. He added that Pakistan are playing too much cricket in UAE and he insisted that the PCB should focus on playing at its home ground as their cricket will suffer if they continue playing in UAE. He expressed these views while talking to a Pakistan’s news channel Geo News (quotes via Cricbuzz)
“If Pakistan continues to play in UAE its cricket will slowly slowly suffer. Lahore can easily be made into a safe venue,”
He said that if Pakistan can provide adequate security facilities which is approved by all boards and the ICC then India will be no issue playing in Pakistan.
“If PCB makes Lahore a safe venue by constructing a team hotel near it and by providing adequate security then India will have no objection to playing in Lahore,”
“If Lahore is made a safe venue then everyone will come and play there.”
When asked about the MoU signed between the two countries, Shukla said that the people who signed that agreement are no longer there and so the dimensions have now changed as the new people in charge have their own opinion. He said that if Pakistan agrees to playing in India this time, then the board will compensate Pakistan for the losses they suffer and in the future they may even visit Pakistan once or twice.
“We are saying this time come and play in India… we are ready to compensate for the home series losses, we will give bigger participation fees and when things improve in Pakistan, we will go there and play one or two series. We have no issues. I don’t think this is such a big issue… why make an ego issue of it and insist on playing in Dubai only,”
Rajiv Shukla also made it clear that India and the BCCI have their own policies and even if other countries have no issues with playing in UAE.
“We have our own policy. We don’t care about what other countries do and what is their policy We want resumption of cricket ties with Pakistan,”
Shukla also said that when the PCB delegation visited India, they were not touched by the Shiv Sena extremists because they were only protesting so PCB should not be worries about it. He asked the PCB to build on the success of the Zimbabwe tour and attract more international cricket.
“They came to the Wankhede stadium and spoke to the BCCI President and they raised slogans but they didn’t bother the PCB officials. I would say build on the success of the tour by Zimbabwe to Lahore. If one incident happened, does it mean there should no cricket in Pakistan?”