LAHORE - The BCCI is believed to be working on a back-up plan for the trouble-hit tour of South Africa in November and December. It could involve hosting an ODI tri-series with Pakistan and Sri Lanka and the details are likely to be discussed in Chennai on Saturday, when officials from the three boards attend an Asian Cricket Council meeting.
The ACC meeting is scheduled two days before Cricket South Africa chief Haroon Lorgat and BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel meet in Dubai on the sidelines of an ICC board meeting to try and resolve the impasse over India's tour of South Africa. If a tri-series is organised, it will effectively replace the limited-overs leg of the bilateral series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the UAE, but it would also mean either a cancelled or severely curtailed India tour of South Africa. Sri Lanka and Pakistan are set to play two Twenty20 internationals, five ODIs and three Tests from December 11 to January 20. The limited-overs leg concludes on December 27.
India's calendar includes a short series against West Indies in November and a tour of New Zealand from January 19.
PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed and SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga will represent their boards at the ACC meeting. The ACC is headed by BCCI president N Srinivasan. The CEO of ACC, Syed Ashraful Haq, has also arrived in India.
Meanwhile PTI quoted the reliable sources in the PCB as saying that Subhan will not only attend a meeting of the ACC but also hold discussions with BCCI officials. "There is a strong chance that the BCCI might propose to have a tri-series sometime in December in India with Pakistan and Sri Lanka and the PCB is ready to accept this invitation," one source said.
He said even if the tri-series led to some rescheduling of Pakistan's home series against Sri Lanka in the UAE in December-January, the PCB and Sri Lanka Cricket would work out a joint solution. "The PCB has got feelers from India that it is contemplating having the tri-series after having decided to curtail its tour to South Africa late in the year," the source said. The source said the PCB is hoping that Ahmad would convince the Indian board to also talk in terms of a bilateral cricket series soon. "PCB is keen for the tri-series as it will guarantee good money for both Pakistan and Sri Lanka," he added.
On the contrary, dismissing chances of Pak-India bilateral cricket series in near future, BCCI joint secretary Anurag Thakur has said it is not possible to resume sporting ties until the situation at the borders normalise. "Everyone wants to see India-Pakistan cricket matches but our soldiers are getting killed on the border. Resumption of bilateral cricket is not possible until Pakistan army and ISI stop their activities. No game is above national security," Thakur said.