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India, Pakistan to resume cricket ties

India and Pakistan are set to resume cricket ties after India invited Pakistan for a series for the first time in five years.
India pakistan cricket bilateral ties july 16 2012Enlarge
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (R) shakes hands with Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez (R) after India won the one day international (ODI) Asia Cup cricket match against Pakistan at The Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on March 18, 2012. The two countries are likely to resume bilateral cricket ties once the Board of Control for Cricket in India's plan to invite Pakistan for a series goes forward. (MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

India plans to invite its neighbor Pakistan for a short series later this year, resuming cricket ties for the first time in five years, according to Reuters.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Monday, "It was decided to resume cricketing ties with Pakistan by inviting the Pakistan cricket team for a short series in December 2012-January 2013," according to Reuters.

If the plan wins government approval, the series would consist of three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 games, said the BCCI, according to Agence France Presse.

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BCCI spokesman Rajiv Shukla said the one-day internationals would be played in Chennai, Kolkata and New Delhi, while the Twenty20 would be held in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, according to AFP.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf said, "The decision is great and we welcome it. It seems that millions of cricket fans have their wishes fulfilled," according to the BBC.

The rivals have not played a bilateral series since 2007, due to the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai which strained relations between the two countries, AFP noted.

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India and Pakistan have played each other since, but only in multi-nation tournaments, such as the World Cup and the Asia Cup earlier this year, said The Wall Street Journal.

The semi-final of the World Cup last year saw Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and then-counterpart Yousef Raza Gilani seated together in the stands, as a symbol of thawing relations, said The Journal.

Reuters noted, "A cricket match between India and Pakistan is one of the most celebrated and intense sports rivalries and attracts millions of viewers around the world."

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