England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has made an offer to host a Test series between arch-rivals India and Pakistan in an attempt to revive bilateral cricket between these two Asian giants. While they have always played high-profile clashes during the ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC T20 World Cup and ICC Champions Trophy, the last bilateral series between both took place in January 2013. The last Test match between both sides was played way back in December 2007, almost fifteen years back.
As per ESPNCricinfo, ECB’s Deputy Chair, Martin Darlow floated this idea to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairperson Ramiz Raja during his visit to Pakistan during England’s ongoing T20I series against them. But it is understood that Pakistan is unlikely to accept this offer. After years of staging their home games in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), they have made a lot of progress in bringing back international cricket back to their country after it could not host it for a long time after an attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009 by gunmen. Playing such a high-profile series at a neutral venue could undermine this progress.
PCB has hosted two Tests in England, a two-match series against Australia back in 2010 which ended in a draw. But the spot-fixing scandal that came to light during the series against England later that years soured the relationship between these two parties. However, Mooen Ali, England’s skipper considers this idea as an “awesome” one.
“That would be brilliant. It is a shame that they do not obviously play each other unless it is a World Cup or an ICC event, but they are two great teams and two massive playing nations,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Ali as saying. “With the viewing [figures] and all that, it would be one of the biggest games because it is not been done for a very long time. It would be a great game because Pakistan has a really good bowling attack as well as India now, and India has a great Test side. It would be really good,” he added.
Both sides could meet in the final of the ongoing ICC World Test Championship at Lord’s if they win the majority of their remaining fixtures. India is in the fourth position in the championship with a win percentage of 52.08 per cent. They have won six Tests, lost four and drawn two. On the other hand, Pakistan is number five. They have won four Tests, lost three and drawn two. Their win percentage is 51.85 per cent.