Newly-elected Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja has admitted that it is currently impossible to restore bilateral cricketing ties between Pakistan and India. The 59-year-old formally took over on Monday after being elected unanimously.
India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral series since 2012-13 and last played a Test series in 2007. The relations between the two countries soured after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and completely stopped after the Pulwama attack in which 40 Indian CRPF jawans lost their lives.
Since then India has only played Pakistan in ICC events but didn’t clash with one another in the World Test Championship despite it being an ICC tournament.
Asked about the possibility of revival of bilateral series between Pakistan and India, Raja, in his first press conference as PCB chairman, said, "Impossible right now. Because the sporting model has been spoiled by politics and right now it is a status quo and we are not in a hurry on this issue because we have to focus on our domestic and local cricket.”
He further acknowledged that being chairman of the PCB is one of the toughest jobs in cricket and said: "It is a very big challenge and a lot of boxes had to be ticked before the Prime Minister (Imran Khan) decided to give me this tough job.”
Raja was also asked about the India-Pakistan match in the coming T20 World Cup in Dubai. The game is due on October 24.
"It is a show stopper and when I met with the Pakistan team players I told them I want the tables to be turned this time and the team must be 100 percent operational for the match and to do well in it," he said.
Raja is Pakistan's 18th Test and 12th ODI captain and played 255 international matches in which he scored 8,674 runs in the period from 1984 to 1997. He previously served the PCB as its Chief Executive from 2003-2004 and presently sits on the MCC World Cricket Committee.