Ashraful Haq, chief executive of the Asian Cricket Council, has said that today's meeting in Colombo will be crucial in breaking an evident stalemate between India and Pakistan. Leading figures from the ACC will meet in Colombo on Friday with the impact of the Mumbai terror attacks, and the consequences for subcontinent cricket, set to be a focal point.
"We are hopeful that the ACC Development meeting in Colombo and then the finance committee meeting in Chennai will help the officials of the two Boards to interact and alongwith the ACC officials we can help convince India to send its team to Pakistan," Haq was quoted as saying by the News.
The January tour has been thrown into further jeopardy after the Indian government's charge that the terrorists who attacked Mumbai had Pakistani links - a charge Pakistan has denied. Pakistan themselves have suffered from the postponements this year and if India refuse to tour, it could leave Pakistan without a Test from December 2007 to June 2009, when they are scheduled to visit Sri Lanka.
Ijaz Butt, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, is expected to meet his opposite number Shashank Manohar on December 12 in Chennai to discuss India's tour of Pakistan.
Haq said he requested Butt to also attend the first day of the Chennai Test between India and England to show solidarity to India. "I have always said that cricket is beyond terrorism and Asian cricket should not be hurt by such dastardly acts," said Haq. "Asian cricket thrives on Indo-Pak series and we hope that these ties are not stalled as were in the past. Pakistan and India playing each other is a great thing for cricket in Asia in general and for world cricket in particular."