PCB to use diplomatic channels to save series against India

December 12th, 2008 - 7:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Dec 12 (IANS) Pakistan are resting their hopes on back channel diplomacy to save the home series against India which is in serious doubt following heightened tensions between the two countries after the Mumbai attacks.Saleem Altaf, Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) chief operating officer, told IANS Friday the Board chairman Ijaz Butt is in India to discuss Pakistan’s tour while diplomatic channels are also being used to ensure that the series goes as per schedule.

His comments came soon after India’s sports minister M.S. Gill asked the cricket team not to tour Pakistan.

Altaf said India toured Pakistan in 2004 in spite of tensions between the two countries and hoped that the upcoming series will finally take place.

“We continue to hope that India will go ahead with the tour and have kept our standard operating procedures in place,” said Altaf, a former Pakistan Test pacer.

Altaf refused to comment on Gill’s stance but was quick to add that Pakistan was hoping that diplomacy will help save the series. “We hope that back channel diplomacy will work and India will clear the tour,” he said.

PCB chairman Ijaz Butt is currently in Chennai and is expected to meet Shashank Manohar, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president, to discuss India’s tour of Pakistan.

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