Indian Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has ended all hopes of a bilateral series between India and Pakistan, emphasising that any such event hinges on resolving border issues among the neighbouring countries.
Cricketing ties between the two arch-rivals have remained suspended in the wake of ongoing diplomatic tensions, restricting their encounters to fixtures backed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Asian Cricket Council (ACC).
Thakur, the former head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), expressed his views in an interview with Indian media, sharing the BCCI had already made a firm decision in the past not to engage in bilateral matches with Pakistan until border relations stabilise.
“I understand that this is the sentiment of every ordinary citizen of the country,” he said.
It should be noted that in a recent Asia Cup match, Pakistan lost the second match against India by 228 runs. Later, the Green Shirts faced a defeat against Sri Lanka in the same tournament, which led to the national team’s exit with its dreams to reach the finals shattered during a decisive and thrilling last over on Thursday.
Meanwhile, owing to their spectacular form in One Day Internationals (ODIs), India has jumped ahead of Pakistan in the ICC ODI team rankings. Pakistan, who were previously ranked number one, have slipped to number three in the rankings while the Blues have jumped to number two.
India is ranked two with 116 ratings and 4,516 points while Pakistan is at third with 115 ratings and 3,102 points.
On the other hand, the final match of the Asia Cup 2023 will now be played between India and Sri Lanka on September 17 in Colombo.