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We want India-Pakistan cricket series: Sports minister Sonowal
Sunday May 17, 2015 10:58 PM, IANS

Kolkata: The government on Sunday said it was in favour of a proposed India-Pakistan bilateral cricket series that would promote friendship between the neighbouring nations.

"As a sports minister, my main objective is to promote sports. For better friendship and relationship, we want the series to take place," union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal told media persons on the sidelines of a function here.

However, he said a lot of issues remain to be addressed before the series could become a reality.

"There are a lot of issues to be addressed, that's a different part."

Pakistan Cricket Board chief Shahryar Khan recently flew into the city and met his Indian counterpart Jagmohan Dalmiya on the issue.

Khan later said Pakistan was ready to host the bilateral series comprising three Tests, five ODIs and two T20 games in the United Arab Emirates in December.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Jagmohan Dalmiya has also exuded confidence about the restart of the bilateral engagements, but said the support of the government was a must for the plans to be implemented.

The two neighbours, whose relations have often turned bitter, played their previous bilateral series in December-January 2012-13 when Pakistan toured India.

Sonowal also said the government was doing everything to help out the Indian medal prospects ahead of the Rio Olympics next year.

"We're targeting more and more medals from the Rio Olympics, that's the prime objective. For this purpose, we're helping out the best possible medal prospective athletes. We are all supporting, whatever needs to be done we're all doing."

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