Pakistan fans risk missing England series in row over tensions with India

Pakistan cricket fans looks set to be denied television coverage of their white-ball series in England later in the summer after the country’s cabinet refused to do a deal with the Indian broadcaster that has the rights to the series.

According to the Hindustan Times and other outlets the ongoing political tensions between the two nations are responsible.

A minister told the media that it had rejected Pakistan Television’s request to liaise with Sony and Star, who have the television rights to all cricket in South Asia, and sign an agreement to receive the feed.

Reports quoted Fawad Chaudhry, the minister for information, as saying that had already made it clear that relations with India depended on reversing the August 5, 2019, action, referring to the revocation of Article 370 relating to the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Chaudhry said: “Our ties with India cannot be normalised until those actions are withdrawn.”

He did say that the government would be approaching the ECB and other foreign companies to see if rights could be secured but admitted that the Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Television would lose money because of the decision.

Pakistan are due to play three ODIs against England on July 8, 10 and 13, followed by three T20is on July 16, 18 and 20.

In the meantime, the Pakistan Super League, which was suspended in after breaches of Covid protocol and a number of positive tests, is due to resume after a switch of countries to Abu Dhabi. There are 20 more matches to be completed.

A number of overseas players who took part in the first part of the tournament will not be returning but among those returning or still available are Usman Khawaja, Martin Guptill, Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Shimron Hetmeyer, Thisara Perera, Ben Dunk and Rashid Khan.

The competition resumes with a match between Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United, who have yet to face each other this season. The winners will go top of the table with eight points.

Broadcast Schedule

IPL 2024
IPL 2024 Q1 KKR v SRH
21st May
Start time: 3:00 pm BST
England v Pakistan 2024 T20 series
1st T20, ENG v PAK, Headingley
22nd May
Start time: 6:30 pm BST