The wait for a bilateral series between arch rivals India and Pakistan could be over soon. According to media reports, India might take on Pakistan in a three-match T20I series this year.
India and Pakistan haven't faced each other in a bilateral series in over eight long years. 2012-13 Pakistan tour of India was the last time the two teams went against each other in a bilateral series. Back then, Pakistan won the ODI series 2-1 whereas the T20I series ended 1-1.
Post that, the two teams have only faced each other in ICC tournaments and Asia Cup. Due to intense political tensions between India and Pakistan, the decision of not competing against each other in bilateral series was taken.
However, the Pakistani newspaper 'Jang,' reported that a bilateral series between India and Pakistan might go on floors soon.
The report claimed that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been asked to be ready to conduct a series in case things go well. However, the report also suggested that it could be tough to have a bilateral series this year as both countries have a packed cricket schedule.
However, an Indian cricket official denied such claims on Wednesday, he told IANS, "No, we have no information on India playing a series with Pakistan."
Pakistan's Geo TV quoted PCB chairman Ehsan Mani as saying that they have not been instructed by anyone for an India-Pakistan series and neither the officials of the two cricketing nations have had a discussion of this kind thus far.
A source in Pakistan told IANS that the series could be held before the T20 World Cup which is going to take place in India in October-November. If it happens, a window will have to be created for it, he said.
The international cricket schedule is indeed extremely tight. Indian players will get busy with the Indian Premier League, which starts on April 9 and ends on May 30. Then the team will face New Zealand in the WTC finals in England which will start on June 18 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. However, the Indian team will have to reach there much in advance to undergo quarantine.
However, India will have a month long window after the WTC final. So India-Pakistan bilateral series might actually happen in July.