- Asmita Saxena
IND vs PAK: According to the latest reports, Melbourne Cricket Committee has expressed their interest in Cricket Australia for hosting India vs Pakistan Test series.
It is evident that Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) hosted the T20 World Cup 2022 classic between the arch-rivals was a huge success. The mind-boggling crowd of over 90,000 witnessed the nerve-wracking IND vs PAK encounter, wherein Virat Kohli played his best T20I knock of 82* off 53 balls.
Last India vs Pakistan bilateral series took place in 2012 in India, wherein the Men in Green secured a 2-1 victory. Since then Indian cricket team have severed ties with the Pakistan Cricket team due to border issues. Interestingly, the last IND vs PAK Test took place in 2007.
However, the fans have been demanding that the bilateral matches should resume, rather than only meeting in the ICC events. The venues and the boards which have hosted India vs Pakistan over the years have reaped fruits with a huge influx of money coming from advertisements and crowd attendance.
With regards to MCG, Australian matches are not filled up to the capacity, but the popularity of India vs Pakistan matches hits the roof every time. As a result, Melbourne is contemplating an idea to be the host for bringing back the IND vs PAK Test series.
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MCC chief executive Stuart Fox reckoned they have floated an idea of three India vs Pakistan Tests, which is likely to be a sell-out. Although he thinks the biggest roadblock would be the busy calendar year for both teams.
“Absolutely. Three [Tests] in a row would be lovely at the MCG. You’d fill it every time. We have asked,” Fox said. “We’ve taken that up with Cricket Australia. I know the [Victoria] government has as well. Again, it’s enormously complicated from what I can understand, amongst a really busy schedule. So I think that’s probably the greater challenge.
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India does not have any bilateral series scheduled in the 2023-27 cycle with Pakistan. Furthermore, the calendar year 2023 will see India hosting the ODI World Cup in October-November.
After the completion of the four-match Test series against Australia, all the Indian players will participate in the IPL. Also, with ODI World Cup in a few months, India vs Pakistan Test series is an unlikely proposition.
Both cricket boards have already made a clear stand that the government will be responsible for giving a signal for India vs Pakistan series. The Indian government is hell-bent on keeping bilateral ties closed in the meantime.
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