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Series against Pak not ruled out entirely by BCCI

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Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) has not yet totally ruled out the series against Pakistan next month eve as uncertainty continues on the issue.

Asked if the Board has planned a series in December since the Indian team will not be engaged in that period, BCCI President Shashank Manohar said all would depend on decision on series against Pakistan.

“Depending on what happens to series against Pakistan, we have to take a call,” Manohar said, leaving the matter for interpretation that series was not yet completely ruled out.

The Indian team finishes the Test series against South Africa on December 7 and is scheduled to go to Australia for a limited overs series in January, leaving a small window open for the BCCI to squeeze in another home series.

As per the International Cricket Council’s Future Tours Programme, Pakistan were to host India but the vehement protest by Shiv Sena derailed the scheduled talks on the issue between Manohar and PCB chief Shahrayar Khan.

Sena workers had barged into the BCCI office, protesting against engaging in a series against Pakistan when the neighbouring country was violating ceasefire agreement between the two countries and killing Indian soldiers by shelling across the border, primarily in Jammu and Kashmir.

Manohar also said in the media conference after the BCCI’s 86th AGM that the series will also depend on getting clearance from the Indian government.

“We need government permission to play against Pakistan and Board decision will be as per the government stand,” Manohar said.

Meanwhile, BCCI approved six new Test centres – Pune, Rajkot, Indore, Dharamsala, Ranchi and Vishakapatnam.

“We are scheduled to play 12 games (Tests) (India are to host New Zealand and England as per ICC’s FTP). These centres have all facilities for hosting international games,” said Manohar.

Manohar also named the nine cities that would be available for the bidders to buy the two new teams, who would replace suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, in the next two editions of IPL.

The cities named were: Rajkot, Pune, Chennai, Vishakapatnam, Cuttack, Ranchi, Nagpur, Indore and Dharamsala.

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