LAHORE/ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar M Khan Tuesday took U-turn on his earlier statement on considering the option of boycotting matches with India in the ICC and other multi-team events.

Talking to the reporters here at the Gaddafi Stadium, Shaharyar adopted a damage-control-mode insisting that if India didn’t play the planned series with Pakistan in December, he alone couldn’t decide the next course of action. "If India doesn’t play the proposed series in December, we will see what has to be done but I alone can’t take any decision in this regard. I will consult the Prime Minister and the PCB governing body on this," he said.

The PCB chief’s changed tone apparently has come about after a strong reaction from Rajeev Shukla, a BCCI senior official, to his threat of boycotting all matches with India. Earlier, Shukla said that there were no chances of a series with Pakistan in December as the Indian board needed government clearance and also needed to sort out some issues with the PCB. To the threat of boycotting matches with India, Shukla had said that the ICC had laws to deal with Pakistan if they decided not to play India in the ICC events.

Shaharyar also disclosed that he had got a reply from the Indian board secretary Anurag Thakur to the letter he had written to him on August 28 to confirm the status of the December series in the UAE. "The matter will now be discussed at the next meeting of the ICC which is round the corner,” he said.

Shaharyar, who leaves for India today (Wednesday), also made it clear that he was going to India to simply offer his condolences to the family of late Jagmohan Dalmiya. "There is no other purpose to the visit. Dalmiya was a personal friend and a supporter of having bilateral Pakistan-India cricket ties. He was hopeful about having the series in December. I am just going there to offer my condolences and pay tributes to an outstanding cricket administrator," he added.

The PCB chairman said that the PCB, despite some statements from across the border, had still not given up hope on having the series in December. "Recent statements on the Pakistan cricket team from the Indian government are encouraging signs for us," he added.

Lauding the gesture of Bangladeshi women cricket team for touring Pakistan, Shaharyar termed it a very beneficial for the country and said it would further cement ties between the two brotherly countries. “People will certainly witness quality women cricket and hopefully, other international teams will follow the same.”

PCB CHIEF HOPES PSL TO BOOST PAKISTAN CRICKET CREDIBILITY: PCB chairman Shahryar M Khan has hoped that Pakistan Super League (PSL) will definitely boost Pakistan cricket credibility.

Talking to The Nation just before inauguration of his daughter-in-law, Sara Khan's painting exhibition at Nomad Art Gallery on late Monday night, Shaharyar said: “We wanted to conduct the PSL’s first edition at UAE, but due to their other commitments and non-availability of grounds, we had to explore other viable options. Now things are settled down and the PSL would take place at Dubai and Sharjah. UAE always suits us, as a huge amount of Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans reside there, who will certainly turn up in quite a few numbers to make the PSL a huge success. Najam Sehti and his team have been working very hard to conduct the league in successful manner.”

When asked about Pakistan team’s performance in the first T20 against Zimbabwe, he said: “Yes, I am also not satisfied especially with the green caps’ batting. Our batsmen must have to play more sensibly and greater responsibility.”

To a query regarding poor show of Afridi, he said: “Afridi is a great entertainer and star, and has played a lot of match-winning knocks. I hope he will bounce back in style. He is not finished yet and I think he can still play major part in helping the country win matches especially the World T20 Cup next year.”

To another query regarding inviting a full-fledge international cricket team, Shahryar replied: “I can't confirm, how much time it will take when international teams will start visiting and playing in Pakistan. Whenever we are close to host an international series or almost convince teams to travel to Pakistan, one blast or unfortunate incident ruin all our efforts. Our security forces are doing remarkable job and overall security situation is improved now. I hope soon we will host a full-fledge team.”