India and Pakistan have not played any bilateral cricket since 2013. Photograph:( IANS )
Former England captain Michael Atherton believes no bilateral cricket with India has proved costly for the Pakistan Cricket Board, which has lost millions of dollars.
India and Pakistan share one of the greatest rivalries in the history of cricket. An encounter between the two arch-rivals is always a blockbuster affair with millions cheering for the two sides. However, the two teams have not played any bilateral cricket for over eight years now due to political tensions between the two nations.
India and Pakistan last played a bilateral series against each other in 2013 and have since met only at major ICC events. The two teams last played a bilateral series in January 2013 when Pakistan toured India for a limited-overs series consisting of two T20Is and three ODIs.
Despite efforts, the two cricket boards have not agreed to play bilateral cricket against each other so far which has cost Pakistan millions of dollars, feels former England captain Michael Atherton. Pakistan have also had to play the majority of their home matches in the UAE post the attack on the Sri Lankan team's bus in Lahore in 2009.
"Pakistan's inability to play India in bilateral events has cost them hundreds of millions of dollars in the past decade, or how being in exile in the UAE for nearly a decade cost significant amounts of financial and psychological capital," Atherton wrote in his column for The Times.
Artherton further pointed out how Pakistan have been the most frequent travellers by a distance in the COVID-19 era where most teams have refrained from playing a lot of away matches. Pakistan have toured England, Australia, and West Indies among others to play series in bio-bubbles amidst COVID-19.
"When England have pulled out of tours to South Africa, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and when Australia have played no Test matches away from home since the pandemic began, Pakistan have travelled all over the world (and, remember, there are no touring fees paid to the visitors these days). Pakistan have played the most number of matches away from home since Covid struck, by some distance," Atherton wrote.
Recently, New Zealand abandoned their tour of Pakistan while England also confirmed that won't be sending their teams to the country. The decisions from the two boards came as a major jolt to PCB, which is staring at huge losses for being unable to host the two series at home.