With nearly a month to go for the ODI & T20 series against England in the UK, Pakistan’s Ministry for Information and Broadcasting has affirmed that 6-match limited-overs series will not be broadcasted in the country due to a license issue with the Indian broadcasters. The first match of the series is set to be played on July 8 in Cardiff. Highlighting the strained relations between India and Pakistan ever since the abrogation of Article 370, Pakistan’s Minister Fawad Chaudhary said that they would approach the England Cricket Board seeking a solution to broadcast the England vs Pakistan series back home.
As per Geo TV, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting while addressing a press conference in Islamabad after the cabinet meeting on Tuesday said that PTV’s request for a contract with Indian broadcasters Star and Asia, who own the rights to air the 5-match ODI series, has been rejected by the Pakistani cabinet. Echoing PM Imran Khan’s repeated rhetoric, Fawad Choudhary said, “Normalisation of ties with India is subject to it taking back the August 5 decision.”
Significantly, the Pakistani Minister admitted that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and PTV will face ‘considerable’ losses as a result of the decision to not permit the broadcasting deal with Star and Asia.
Pakistan’s tour of England
Meanwhile, last month the ECB agreed to delay Pakistan’s tour of England to accommodate the second phase of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The PCB announced that Pakistan, who were originally scheduled to arrive in England on June 23, will now land on June 25. There will be no change in the dates of the matches with the first game of the tour, an ODI in Cardiff, set to be played on July 8. With UAE and Pakistan being put on UK’s red list, it will require members of the touring party to quarantine for 10 days after touchdown in the European country. While they will be allowed to train in that period, the duration between their release from quarantine and the start of the tour is expected to be bleak.
Earlier last month, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan went back to parroting the Jammu & Kashmir rhetoric and claimed that his country would resume talks with India if Article 370 was restored. In a live question and answers session with the public, Pakistan PM Imran Khan reportedly said that the country’s ties with India could not be mended without the restoration of Article 370 as it would amount to ‘turning the back’ on Kashmiris.
Imran Khan harked back to his rhetorical narrative by asserting that his government will not talk to India unless it reverses the steps taken on August 5, 2019, including the abrogation of Article 370 and revocation of statehood. New Delhi has categorically stated on several occasions and international forums that the abrogation of Article 370 remains India’s internal matter, as well as Jammu & Kashmir, is also an integral part of the country.