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Cricket news - BCCI wants to host Pakistan Women's team

As per the schedule of the event, BCCI is to host Pakistan women's team for at least three ODIs in India between July and November.

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) has sought permission from the government to host the Pakistan women's team for a one-day international series this year as a part of International Cricket Council's (ICC) Women's Championship, which will determine qualification for the Women's World Cup in 2021.

The BCCI finds itself in a tricky situation due to the prevailing political tension between the two neighbouring countries, which has prevented any bilateral series between the men's teams for six years now.

In a letter sent to the sports ministry on May 29, BCCI general manager (cricket operations) Saba Karim has explained the board's position. The ICC conducts the Women's Championship where teams need to play each other on a home and away basis. The points system of this tournament determines the ranking of the teams to qualify for the World Cup.

As per the schedule of the event, BCCI is to host Pakistan women's team for at least three ODIs in India between July and November. BCCI would like to seek necessary permission from the government of India before giving its consent to ICC on this subject," the letter, accessed by TOI, says.

Sources in the sports ministry told TOI that the matter would eventually need to be cleared by the ministry of external affairs. Hosts BCCI had moved the men's Asia Cup to UAE in September last year since hosting Pakistan in India was not feasible. But that was a multi-nation tournament. "We will have to look at other options if the government doesn't give the permission to host the Pakistan women's team. We are waiting to hear from the government soon," a top BCCI official said.

ICC had kept bilateral Test fixtures between India and Pakistan out of its future tours programme (FTP) for the 2019-2021 cycle even though the inaugural World Test Championship gets underway in August, with India travelling to West Indies. But that was done under the ICC's members participation agreement (MPA).

As for the Women's World Cup in New Zealand 2021, Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies are playing in a two-and-a-half year competition under the banner of ICC. The top four teams and hosts New Zealand will qualify directly for the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup. The remaining three teams will play in the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2020.

It is still not clear if India will have to forfeit points if the series is not cleared by the government. "The ICC will deal with it if BCCI is unable to host Pakistan. It will be dealt with at that point based on the facts. There's no determined time frame for BCCI to announce the schedule but they are encouraged to do it as early as possible," sources in the ICC told TOI.

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