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Sri Lanka possible venue for Indo-Pak series: report

Sri Lanka possible venue for Indo-Pak series: report

DUBAI: A meeting between heads of India and Pakistan's cricket boards took place on Sunday, with ESPNcricinfo reporting that Sri Lanka is believed to have come up as a possible neutral venue for the bilateral series between the two cricketing giants.

No official confirmation has been received thus far.

The primary purpose of the meeting between Shaharyar Khan and newly-elected president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Shashank Manohar was to break a deadlock on the holding of a bilateral cricket series comprising five matches: three ODIs and two Twenty20Is between India and Pakistan.

The meeting which took place at the International Cricket Council (ICC) headquarters on the invitation of Manohar, was also attended by English Cricket Board chief Giles Clarke and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Executive Committee head Najam Sethi.

Both and India and Pakistan have voiced reluctance on playing the series at each other's home.

According to the ICC's schedule, Pakistan are to host India in the UAE for a full tour comprising two Tests, five ODIs and two T20Is later this year.

Read: BCCI proposes limited-over series with Pakistan in India

But India has ruled out the option of playing in the UAE despite Pakistan's insistence. Pakistan has been hosting teams in the UAE for years due to security threats in its own territory, but so far India has not made clear the reason for its reluctance to play there.

Khan said the meeting with Manohar had been "fruitful".

“We had a fruitful meeting in which Sethi was there, Clarke was there as facilitator, it was a fruitful meeting and the decision is that Clarke will brief the media tomorrow,” Khan told media.

“We have also decided that there will be no further briefing. I am not in a position to say more than this."

Also read: Nisar rules out cricket diplomacy for now

Earlier, Manohar told The National newspaper that India have not received a reply from the 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."

The PCB chief maintained his team will not travel to India and would play the series in the 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 the Pakistani government.

The series is one of six agreed between the PCB and BCCI under a Memorandum of Understanding signed last year when PM Manmohan Singh-led government gave its go-ahead for the series.

Later the BCCI said it will have to get permission from their new Modi-led government for the said series.

But the current strained political situation with regular ceasefire violations from both sides and cancellation of talks between the security advisers of the two countries in August had left the series in serious doubt.

If it does go ahead it would be the first between the two countries since 2007.

India called off most sporting fixtures between the rivals after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which it says were planned by militants in Pakistan.

The two countries played a bilateral series when Misbah-ul-Haq and company toured India for a short limited-overs series (comprising three ODIs and two Twenty20s) in Dec-Jan 2012-13. Pakistan won the ODI series 2-1 while the T20 rubber ended in 1-1 stalemate.

Pakistan last played a full series in India in 2007 while India last toured Pakistan in 2006.

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