LAHORE - The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani Tuesday said he would not run after India to play a series.

While talking to media during the Sri Lanka cricket series logo unveiling ceremony at Gaddafi Stadium, Mani said he was open to dialogue with his Indian counterparts but reinforced the idea that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) would have to initiate the conversation.

“If India wants to play against us they should come and talk. I will not run after them to play a series against us,” Mani said. The PCB chairman was hopeful that the series against Sri Lanka would draw massive crowds, which would in turn help motivate the Pakistan cricket team.

“Our players perform outside Pakistan and there are no crowds to cheer for them. The seats are empty which damages players’ motivation. I hope the scheduled series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka brings in many fans into the stadium. I hope they support both teams,” he said.

Mani thanked the officials of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and stressed the need to remember the heinous terrorist attack on them ten years ago in Lahore. “We should not forget that the Sri Lankan team was the target of a terrorist attack here ten years ago. The same team has now come back to Pakistan to support cricket in the country. I am grateful to the Sri Lanka Cricket board,” he said.

The PCB chairman also stated that Pakistan had supported cricket in Sri Lanka in the past and would continue to do so. “We have also supported the Sri Lanka cricket team at all times. Only ten days after the Colombo attack, we sent our Under-19 cricket team to Sri Lanka,” he said. Mani was adamant that the security arrangements in Pakistan were adequate in tackling the dangers that arose due to the threat of terrorism.

“No country in the world is safe from terrorism. New Zealand faced a massive terror attack. We are not behind anyone in terms of security arrangements. The army, agencies and police have a big role to play in the revival of international cricket in Pakistan,” he added. Jubilee Life Insurance is the title sponsor for the T20 and co-sponsor of the ODI cricket series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

“Time and time again, we are honoured to see the enthusiasm and commitment shown by Jubilee Life Insurance towards promoting cricket in Pakistan. The support from Jubilee Life Insurance has been one step forward each time and we strongly acknowledge it. Cricket plays an important role in the lives of every Pakistani and they put our trust in us. Together with Jubilee Life Insurance, we aim to uphold this promise and grow the cricket industry in Pakistan.” said Mani.

“Jubilee Life Insurance has constantly supported cricket and plays an important role for its revival in Pakistan. We have seen hard times, but are proud to say that we are far from those now. Various PSL matches and series have taken place and this Sri Lankan series will, once again, be another achievement and display of top-class cricket in the country.” said Syed Usman Qaiser, Head of Marketing, Jubilee Life Insurance.