India-Pak ties may be held in England

NEW DELHI: The reciprocal India-Pakistan cricket series, to be hosted by the neighbour, may be played in England as the island nation is emerging as the most suitable venue given the Indian board's reluctance to send a team to Pakistan.

Deliberations between Indian and Pakistani cricket officials have seen several options being considered, including the series being played in India and the venues being leased to the Pakistani board. This proposal gets around the problem of visiting Pakistan but might have run into domestic opposition.

Similarly, the possibility of playing in Dubai did not find favour with the Indian board which feels the Gulf destination's reputation as the capital of illegal betting can result in the cricket team attracting unwelcome attention. A betting scandal is the last thing the board wants.

The England option seems the most attractive as grounds can be hired, television proceeds can be worked out and security is not as daunting a task as it might be elsewhere. An India-Pakistan series is a sure shot full draw and England's cricketing establishment can profit by providing the venues.