Political tensions could force ECB to host potential India vs Pakistan Test series

The England and Wales Cricket Board is entertaining the prospect of hosting Test cricket between India and Pakistan, should they agree.

Political tensions between the nations mean there has been no bilateral cricket between the teams for a decade, though they continue to face each other at major tournaments in games which draw enormous global viewership. 

Facing each other outside of Asia would is a potential way of normalising relations and it is understood that Martin Darlow, an ECB board member and until recently the organisation's acting chair, spoke to Pakistan Cricket Board chair Ramiz Raja on the subject during England's ongoing T20 tour.

Darlow has outlined England would step in if a deal is struck between the PCB and BCCI, having previously hosted a series between Pakistan and Australia in 2009.

Edgbaston was awarded the fixture at the 2019 World Cup and would be among the favourites to host, but any concrete decision over a venue is in the distance.

Regardless of the outcome of the proposal, the offer represents a further strengthening of the relationship between England and Pakistan. Raja was furious about the ECB's late and flimsy withdrawal from a planned tour last year but this month's seven-match series has gone a long way to repairing that damage.

Moeen Ali, England's stand-in T20 captain and a player of Pakistani descent, welcomed the idea.

"It would be awesome. That would be brilliant," he 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."

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