LAHORE - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan Wednesday said the Indian cricket board was trying to hoodwink International Cricket Council and is not interested in playing any series with Pakistan.

The PCB chairman was reacting to the news circulating in Indian media about Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) reportedly seeking permission from the Indian government to play a series with Pakistan on a neutral venue.

“I got to know about this development through Indian media,” Khan said, adding that “the BCCI is probably afraid of the International Cricket Board (ICC) and therefore wants to play the series now”.

Shaharyar said the letter may be a face-saving move by the BCCI as a board meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC) is nearing during which implementation on the FTP would be discussed. ‘The BCCI has approached the government to avoid embarrassment.’

Last year the ICC had deducted points of Indian women cricket team for not playing series against Pakistan, said the PCB chairman.

The Indian government has also rejected any possibility of cricket series with Pakistan. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir ruled out cricket series under the current circumstances, Indian media reported.

The BCCI had written a letter to the Home Ministry seeking permission for a bilateral series to complete their obligations under the Future Tours & Programme (FTP) agreement which was inked in 2014.

The Indian board was looking at a September or November window to play Pakistan. The BCCI had reserved September for the Champions League T20 but the tournament has been discontinued. It is learnt that the BCCI wants a short series in November in Dubai before the Indian tour of South Africa,” The Indian Express had said quoting sources in the BCCI.

“Permission has been sought from Home Ministry, we don’t know what is the government stand. Last time, tension between the two countries was at its peak. Also, there is the FTP agreement that needs to be fulfilled and that’s why the board is willing to travel to Dubai to play a series against Pakistan. Unless the government gives its nod, the BCCI cannot do anything,” it added.

But Shaharyar said the ground reality was that it was almost impossible to think about any bilateral series between two arch-rivals any soon.

The PCB chief opined that India would continue playing Pakistan only in international evens hosted by the ICC or Asian Cricket Council but ruled out any possibility of a bilateral series.

He said the BCCI’s letter is just an attempt to avoid any legal process in the ICC as Pakistan has raised the issue with the ICC and also considering taking the BCCI to the court for not fulfilling its commitments for the compensation.

Shaharyar said in the presence of the current Indian government set up the prospects of having any series with India were very grim and the results of the UP elections have made it more difficult for both countries to improve the relations.

The cricket has been affected badly due to the political tensions between the two countries. The BCCI has repeatedly made commitments but refused to play a bilateral series against Pakistan. Although both teams have faced each other during World Cup and other tournaments but last time they played a Test match was in 2007. Many of the players in the teams have never played against each other.