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India has to play Pak before current FTP ends: Lorgat

April 16, 2010 14:58 IST

International Cricket Council (ICC) CEO Haroon Lorgat has made it clear that India has to fulfill its obligation of playing a bilateral series against Pakistan before current Future Tours Programme ends in 2012.

Pakistan was to host India in early 2009 but the series was cancelled and now Lorgat said that the series may well take place in a neutral venue, if not in the trouble-torn country.

"India was due to tour Pakistan early 2009 but they cancelled that series because of political reasons. But they have to fulfill the obligation before the next FTP begins in 2012," he said in an interview.

"We can't force any country to play if political or security reasons prompt their government to instruct them not to play in a country but such a series can be held at a neutral venue," he added.

Lorgat also made it clear that ICC didn't want to have a situation where there was no international cricket played in Pakistan for a long time and was doing everything to rectify the situation.

"There is a lot of sympathy, a lot of understanding, a lot of acknowledgement that we need to do something to make sure that we support Pakistan during this difficult phase brought on by environmental factors," he said.

Dismissing the suggestions that India was dictating to the ICC, Lorgat said this was a wrong perception by many and India had the equal rights as other countries in the ICC.

"India is not dictating to ICC, this is a wrong perception and they are as important a member of the ICC as other countries," he said.

Lorgat also stated that the ICC wanted to see normal cricket relations between India and Pakistan and matches between the two on regular basis.

"From an economic point of view it is important that Pakistan and India resume bilateral series and from the ICC perspective, it is also important that all our members have harmonious relationships.

"They are all members and we want to ensure that every one of them is working on sound relations with the other," he said.

He also didn't see any problem in Pakistan playing its 2011 World Cup matches in India.

"This is something worked out at the organising committee level and we've been very clear in our minds that should Pakistan reach any of the venues they will play at those venues.

"That includes Mumbai so if they get to the final, they would be very welcome to playing at Wankhede Stadium," he said.

Asked about the impression that ICC unlike other leading global sports bodies was dictated by political and diplomatic policies of their countries which had led to isolation of Zimbabwe, he said the ICC was doing everything possible to help and support the nation get back on its feet.

"Zimbabwe remains a valuable member of the ICC and they are playing international cricket," he pointed out.

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