BCCI president Roger Binny to attend Asia Cup matches in Pakistan | Cricket News – Times of India

BENGALURU: BCCI president Roger Binny on Saturday confirmed that he would travel to Pakistan during the Asia Cup next month on invitation from the Pakistan Cricket Board.
PCB management committee chairman Muhammad Zaka Ashraf had earlier this month officially invited the Indian cricket board chief and his spouse to attend the Asia Cup matches in Pakistan and the PCB dinner in Lahore on Sep 4.
Speaking to TOI, Binny said, “BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla and I will travel to Pakistan through the Wagah Border on September 4. Apart from the official dinner, we will also witness a couple of matches.” They will return to India on September 7.
This is the first visit of a BCCI president to the neighbouring country after India severed bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

It comes at a time when Pakistan have agreed to send their team to India for the ICC ODI World Cup beginning next month. Before heading to Pakistan, Binny will fly to Sri Lanka for India’s opener against Pakistan in Pallekele on September 2.
When asked by the board if he would accept the invitation, Binny said he had no hesitation.
“Because my previous travels to Pakistan have been very pleasant. They are very hospitable. I remember the stores we went to in the 1980s, the shop owners were excited to host Indians. We were offered tea at every store we visited,” the former all-rounder recounted.

After India refused to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup, Sri Lanka were roped in as co-hosts with only four of the 13 matches scheduled in Pakistan with Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh playing a match each. The fourth fixture is a Super Four tie. Binny last visited Pakistan in 2005, as part of a pace camp conducted by the Asian Cricket Council.


As a player, he was part of a team led by Mohinder Amarnath that played in Pakistan in 1984.
The series was abandoned during the second ODI at Sialkot on October 31, following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Binny pointed out that the visit augurs well for the cricket ties between the two nations.
“The India-Pakistan rivalry is the fiercest and most followed in world cricket. It is even bigger than the Ashes. Matches between the two countries are good for the sport and its popularity,” he added.

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