According to reliable sources in the PCB, Shaharyar, who met with a key leader of the ruling BJP and BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur in New Delhi yesterday, extended the invitations in a bid to improve relations between the two boards and pave the way for revival of Indo-Pak series later this year.

"We are hopeful that Arun Jaitley or Anurag Thakur will come to Lahore as our special guests for one of the
limited-overs matches against Zimbabwe in Lahore later this month," a source said.

Zimbabwe are due to tour Pakistan from May 19 to play three ODIs and two T20 matches in Lahore.

Shaharyar has been visiting India since the weekend to meet with key BCCI officials and top government functionaries in a bid to drum up support for the Indo-Pak series in December.

Shaharyar, a former career diplomat who remained high commissioner of Pakistan in New Delhi, met with BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya during a visit to Kolkata.

The PCB source said Shaharyar had brought up the issue of Pakistani players not being allowed into the Indian Premier League with Dalmiya.

"Dalmiya has assured he will look into the matter and it would also be discussed at the next working committee meeting of the Indian board," the source added.

He said the PCB chief had conveyed to his Indian counterpart that Pakistani players should be allowed to play for franchises in the IPL as this would help in development of Pakistan cricket.

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