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India, Pakistan deadlock continues on cricket series – ICC hails concept of day-night Tests

Dubai, Nov 22, (Agencies): The deadlock over a proposed series between arch-rivals India and Pakistan continued Sunday with the heads of both the boards present in Dubai.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Shashank Manohar is here to familiarise with the working of the International Cricket Council (ICC) after taking over as its chairman.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan is also in Dubai to watch Pakistan play England in the one-day series, but there is no meeting scheduled between him and Monohar.

Manohar told The National newspaper that India has not received a reply from Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on a proposal to play the matches in India.

“We want to play in India. That is the thing,” Manohar said. “Presently, we gave an option to Pakistan asking them whether they will come to India. Pakistan was to get back to me, they haven’t got back to me. So I don’t know what is the position.”

Khan maintained his team will not travel to India and would play the series in United Arab Emirates (UAE), as agreed under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed last year.

Khan said a final decision on the series will only be taken by Pakistan government.

“The matter is now political,” Khan said on Friday. “Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif has directed us that any decision will now be taken by the government and not by the PCB.”

Meanwhile, the president of cricket’s governing body Sunday hailed the concept of day-night Test matches, days before Australia play New Zealand in the first-ever such match.

Zaheer Abbas, president of the International Cricket Council (ICC), said he sees the idea of such matches as “thoroughly enlightened”.

“The sceptics and critics might call it a leap in the dark but I prefer to view the decision to play day-night Test cricket — a concept set to become reality when Australia plays New Zealand in Adelaide — as thoroughly enlightened,” Abbas wrote in his column for the ICC website.

The innovation is intended to attract more spectators. Abbas, himself a former Pakistani batting great, said he had a good experience of day-night matches when he played for Australian tycoon Kerry Packer in the 1970s.

“I speak from experience, as one of a group who you could call floodlit cricket pioneers. I was one of the players signed up by Kerry Packer to be part of World Series Cricket in 1977 and it was through my involvement that I was exposed to day-night matches for the first time,” wrote Abbas.

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