NEW DELHI - PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan Wednesday that the broadcast rights issue will not be a hindrance for the proposed Indo-Pak cricket series and exuded confidence that the two boards will sort out the matter soon. The revival of Pak-India cricketing ties has hit a roadblock after differences emerged between PCB and BCCI over broadcast rights issues, in particular the PCB's series-by-series association with Ten Sports.
The BCCI reportedly does not approve of the PCB-Ten Sports deal and is not keen on an India-Pakistan series being broadcast by a potential 'rival' group. Asked if it would be a hindrance for the proposed series, Khan said: "No. I must explain that we will be dealing with the issue in the next few weeks and hopefully we will find a resolution to that."
The proposal to revive Pak-India cricketing ties also faced opposition from political leaders with former home secretary and BJP MP from Bihar's Arrah, RK Singh, raising the issue in the Lok Sabha during zero hour. Khan said: "It is not so much with the Government of India. It is the BCCI and the broadcasters. We will jointly try to overcome it and I'm hopeful we can."
The proposed full-fledged series, which will involve three Tests, five ODIs and two T20s, is part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two Boards last year and will be hosted by Pakistan in the UAE. Talking about the MOU, Khan said: "India used to be hesitant in coming to UAE for the matches but ever since they had their IPL in UAE, I think their reservation have been resolved. Therefore, the MOU, clearly says that the first series will be hosted by Pakistan in UAE and BCCI agreed to that," he said.
Currently in India, Khan had a series of meetings with BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya, union minister Arun Jaitley and BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur during the past few days. "I met Jagmohan Dalmiya in Kolkata; yesterday I met Arun Jaitley, today I met Anurag Thakur. After meeting all three, I feel we are on the right track and hopefully Indian govt, will give its permission too," Khan said.
Since 2007, India have not played a proper bilateral Test series with Pakistan mainly due to political reasons, particularly after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks which led to suspension of cricketing ties. The two countries played one short series of three ODIs and two T20 matches in India in December 2012 but otherwise they have met only in ICC organized events or the Asia Cup.
Meanwhile reports surfaced that If India and Pakistan do play bilateral cricket again this year, BCCI chief Dalmiya wants the series to be held in India, with the first Test match in Kolkata.
"If the approval of the government is required, fine, but we should make a very clear decision...the world wants to see Pakistan and India playing each other," PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan told NDTV after meeting Mr Dalmiya in Kolkata on Sunday. There is a section in India that opposes resuming cricketing ties with Pakistan. RK Singh, a lawmaker of ruling party BJP and a former senior bureaucrat, raised the issue in parliament on Monday, saying, "A country which is giving shelters to the terrorists, who have attacked and had carried out bomb blasts against us, what is a point of playing cricket with that country, I don't understand."
He requested the government to turn down the proposal to play three tests, five one-dayers and two Twenty20 internationals in December, adding, "You don't have friendly relations with a country which sends terrorists across the Line of Control every day."
The Indian board has, however, said it is looking forward to resume cricketing ties with Pakistan. "Since there are certain matters that need to be addressed and considered, it was decided to take appropriate steps. The two boards would be in regular touch and review the situation," BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said in a statement.
On being asked about RK Singh's statement, Khan told NDTV: "Many in the Indian government are keen to see this series go on. I am confident it would." To hold the series in India, a memorandum of understanding between the two boards will have to be redrafted; the present one states that Pakistan will host the first series and the two teams will play each other five times over eight years.
But Khan reiterated in an interview with an Indian TV channel that the first bilateral series to be held in December will be hosted only by the PCB and will be staged at the  venues in UAE.