Despite the deteriorating ties between both countries, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) chairman Vinod Rai has confirmed that India is willing to play against Pakistan at a neutral venue.
The Supreme Court-appointed CoA is overseeing cricket administration in India, and it is in favor of playing against Pakistan.
Speaking to Indian Express, Vinod Rai said:
On playing Pakistan, I think there is a government policy that you can play on neutral territory and not on each others’. We are very clear in our minds that on neutral territory we will play any country.
Vinod further added that he was never in favor of boycotting the match against Pakistan as it was being suggested by a number of former Indian cricketers and experts.
He clarified his position regarding his previous statements and said:
I was only taking a position to counter the rhetoric which had gained momentum in the public domain, that India should refuse to play with Pakistan. If Pakistan came up in the semi-final and we withdrew. Isn’t that shooting yourself in the foot? We would be closing avenues for ourselves, which I thought was an incorrect move.
When asked regarding the ‘insignia’ sign on Indian wicketkeeper MS Dhoni’s gloves during the World Cup, Vinod clarified the stance of BCCI.
What he wore was not the insignia of his regiment. But he wore something and at least I did not know that the ICC had rules about what you can put on your gloves. I was taken by surprise. I said, look, if he is wearing it, he is free to wear it, and I supported him. Then I was shown 11 pages of ICC norms which say that you can only have your team’s insignia and that of the manufacturers. So we had to withdraw.
It remains to be seen whether India actually followthrough on their plans and statements and agree to play Pakistan in the UAE in the near future or not.