NEW DELHI: The ball is in India's court as far as the future of a series with Pakistan this December is concerned, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seeks a nod from the Government of India to play the neighbours in Sri Lanka, but nothing has been heard so far, Indian media reported on Sunday.
The two boards have agreed on Sri Lanka as the venue after India rejected United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) refused to play in India.
The move has been okayed by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The two boards now await decision of the Indian government but more the delay in that more the uncertainty over the future of the series.
According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, a senior minister in the government of India has termed it "very difficult" for the series to go ahead and the final call might be taken by India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
The report also quoted a senior BCCI official as not being too optimistic. "It looks unlikely considering the government has not said anything," the official told ESPNCricinfo.
The last word from the Indian government had come in the form a tweet from Vikas Swarup, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). "Update on queries regarding Cricket Series: No decision has been taken on the India-Pakistan cricket series," he had tweeted on Thursday.
The December series is part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two boards during N Srinivasan's regime in the BCCI, according to which the two teams will play six bilateral series over the next eight years.
However, there was indecision over the venue due to security and issues around the broadcast rights for the series.
BCCI president Shashank Manohar, who is also the ICC chairman, and PCB president Shahryar Khan then met in Dubai last Sunday, where Sri Lanka was agreed upon as the neutral venue. That meeting was mediated by ECB president, Giles Clarke.