ECB offer to host India vs Pakistan Test series in England
As first reported by The Telegraph, the England and Wales Cricket Board have made an offer to host a Test series between India and Pakistan in England. The proposal was made to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja during England's ongoing seven-match T20I series in the country.
India and Pakistan haven't played international cricket outside of multi-nation tournaments since the latter's tour to India in 2012-13, which included two T20Is and three ODIs. The sub-continent rivals last contested in a Test series in 2007 in India, with the hosts taking the three-match affair 1-0 under the captaincy of Anil Kumble.
ECB deputy chair Martin Darlow has been at the forefront of the ongoing conversations with Raja, with the offer being understood as an attempt to restore relationship between the two boards, after England's last-minute withdrawal from a scheduled two-match Test series in Pakistan last year.
Moeen Ali, who is leading England in the ongoing series, welcomed the move.
"That would be brilliant," Moeen said. "It's a shame that they don't obviously play each other unless it's a World Cup or an ICC event but they're two great teams and two massive playing nations.
"With the viewing [figures] and all that, it would be one of the biggest games because it's not been done for a very long time. It would be a great game because Pakistan have a really good bowling attack as well as India now, and India have a great Test side. It would be really good."
As per an ESPNcricinfo report however, the PCB is unlikely to take the offer, given cricket's successful return to the country in recent seasons. The neutral hosting could risk in undermining the recent progress of international cricket in Pakistan.
The PCB had hosted a two-match Test series between Pakistan and Australia in England back in 2010, a year after the 2009 Lahore attacks during Sri Lanka's tour of Pakistan, which had resulted in banning of international cricket in the country.
There is a fair chance that India and Pakistan could face each other in the World Test Championship 2023 final next year at The Oval. India are placed fourth with a points percentage of 52.08 in the WTC 2023 table currently, closely followed by Pakistan at 51.85.