Kolkata

Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has said that Pakistan and India are set to resume bilateral cricketing ties in December this year.

During an event here on Tuesday, Basit said: "Pakistan and Indian cricket teams will be playing a bilateral series in December this year. We are working very hard on that, and it will be happening after a long gap." The announcement comes seven days after Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar M Khan met newly-elected BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur on March 10 as part of efforts to resume cricket matches between the two countries.

Basit said the venue country could either be India or the UAE. "The modalities are being worked out, the venue could either be India or the UAE," said Basit calling for both the countries to ‘aggressively pursue’ sporting diplomacy. The two neighbours, whose relations have often turned bitter, played their previous bilateral series in December-January 2012-13 when Pakistan toured India.

India and Pakistan boards have inked a binding agreement that provides for the two sides playing 12 Tests, 20 One Day Internationals and 11 twenty20 internationals during a six-year period. The opening engagement is slated to be played in December.

Rooting for an India-Pakistan semifinal at the World Cup, Basit called upon people to cheer for his country during its quarter-final clash against the mighty Australians at Adelaide on Friday. "I want to see Pakistan and India play in semi-final so I urge you all to pray for Pakistan against Australia."

"So far as I am concerned, I will be cheering for India and similarly the Pakistan High Commission in Bangladesh will be cheering for Bangladesh," Basit said about team India's quarter-final against Bangladesh at Melbourne on Thursday.