Pakistan keen to renew India ties after T20 League offer

KARACHI (Reuters) - Pakistan cricket officials were hopeful of renewing bilateral ties with India after the Indian governing board (BCCI) invited their neigbours to send a team for this year's Champions League T20 tournament.

The Champions League is an offshoot of the lucrative Indian Premier League and is contested by the domestic T20 champions of test-playing nations.

Pakistan had not been invited to the first three editions of the event by the BCCI due to strained relations between the two countries.

"We are happy that the BCCI decided our national champions should take part in the Champions League," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed told Reuters.

"Hopefully this would be the first step towards reviving bilateral cricket ties between the two countries."

BCCI president Narayanaswami Srinivasan said Pakistani team Sialkot Stallions' participation in the T20 tournament will have to be approved by the governing council of the Champions League that includes Australia and South Africa.

"We are delighted that finally some ice has been broken. Hopefully we can now move forward from here," he said.

India have frozen all bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan since 166 people were killed during a three-day siege in Mumbai in 2008. The only gunman arrested following the attacks was a Pakistani national.

(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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