Will play ICC leagues only if India face Pakistan: PCB

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Karachi, Oct 18: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi has said that Pakistan will sign up for the ICC Test and ODI leagues only if India honour Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to play bilateral matches.

The ICC Board meeting in Auckland last week gave nod to a nine-team Test league over a period of two years starting at the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup, with each team playing six series on a home-and-away basis, culminating in a World Test League Championship final.

The 13-team ODI league will be a direct qualification pathway towards the ICC Cricket World Cup and will be contested by the 12 Full Members plus the winners of the current ICC World Cricket League Championship. In the first edition of the league, each side will play four home and four away series each comprising of three ODIs moving to all teams playing each other from the second cycle onwards.

However, the big question still remains whether India will play Pakistan in the leagues.

In 2014, both Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the PCB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which stated that the two arch-rivals will play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023.

According to the 2014 agreement, India was scheduled to play six series against Pakistan, four of them were going to be Pakistan's home series.

While the BCCI has repeatedly snubbed Pakistan's request for resumption of ties, the PCB wants its Indian counterpart to honour its commitment under the MoU signed, which is subjected to clearance from the Government of India.

In May, the PCB had sent a legal notice to its Indian counterpart for failing to honour the MoU.

Despite not playing a full-fledged bilateral series against Pakistan since the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, the arch-rivals have played each other a number of times in the ICC events, with the most recent coming at the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. Although, Pakistan did tour India for a short series in December, 2012.

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