India and Pakistan's diplomatic tensions have led to the bilateral cricketing relations between the two countries being affected adversely. India and Pakistan only play each other in ICC competitions and the Asia Cup. The two teams last played a bilateral series in the 2012/2013 season. The debate has been now extended to women's cricket as an official from the Sourav Ganguly-led BCCI has come forward to explain ICC's latest move regarding the 2021 Women's Cricket World Cup.
Recently, the ICC announced that it had come to conclusion on the India vs. Pakistan Women's three-match ODI series, which was supposed to be played between July-November 2019, has been abandoned. The series was a part of the ICC Women's Championship, which would also act as a qualifier for the 2021 Women's Cricket World Cup. The series ended up not happening and the ICC has now declared that both teams will be sharing the points that were up for grabs in the three-match series.
Speaking to IANS, a BCCI official explained that the BCCI lawyers explained to the ICC that government intervention also matters before India plays Pakistan. "It is not just about playing Pakistan. So, if we do not get clearance from the government, how can we play them?", said the BCCI official. It was after this that the ICC finally understood the matter and gave its final verdict.
The BCCI and PCB were at loggerheads in the past as well over the issue with men's cricket. The PCB had dragged the BCCI to court in 2018 for allegedly 'not honouring' a $70 million deal signed between them for six bilateral series to be played between 2015-2023. The PCB had lost the case after a decision was made by the ICC's Disputes panel of lawyers in Dubai, having to pay $1.6 million to the BCCI reportedly for the same. The BCCI won the case on the basis of the very reason of the government not permitting them to play cricket with Pakistan and the same was mentioned in that agreement too.
Recently, PCB chairman Ehsan Mani appeared on the PCB podcast and talked about the losses that the PCB would face because of COVID-19. Mani also spoke about playing cricket with India and mentioned that the PCB is not making plans with India in mind or depending on the Sourav Ganguly-led BCCI to co-operate.
Recently, Pakistan legend Shoaib Akhtar called both nations to put their differences aside and play a bilateral series to raise money for COVID-19 relief in both countries as well. Akhtar's suggestions received a lot of polarised reactions.