The Taj Mahal hotel is seen engulfed in smoke during a gun battle in Mumbai November 29, 2008.
The Taj Mahal hotel is seen engulfed in smoke during a gun battle in Mumbai November 29, 2008. Photo by Reuters
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Cricket ties between India and Pakistan are set for revival after a five-year break as the Indian cricket board on Monday decided to invite the neighboring team for a series in December.

The ties were suspended after the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack that claimed 166 lives which has been blamed on Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba militants.

India and Pakistan last played in a bilateral series in November 2007.

Over the past months, there have been negotiations between the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Board of Control for Cricket in India on resuming cricket ties.

According to BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla, three One Day Internationals and two Twenty20 matches have been planned for December.

"The Pakistan Board had initiated talks with top BCCI officials. The talks have been on since the last one year. Today, the BCCI working committee has decided to invite the Pakistani team for the matches," Shukla said.

The matches will be played at Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

Pakistan welcomed the announcement and the chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB )Zaka Ashraf said resumption of cricketing ties will help to improve the relations between the nations.

"Cricket helps to improve the relations; it helps to bring the people closer," Aharaf said. "If people to people relations are good, then the relations between the countries are also good."

The Indian government's approval was still needed for the series but local media reported that this was just a formality. Top BCCI officials told the outlets that the government had agreed in principle to the series.

The South Asian rivals played each other in the 2011 World Cup and Asia Cup in Bangladesh recently.

Officials are hopeful that the resumption of sporting ties would defuse tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

Earlier this month, the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan met in New Delhi and decided to strengthen sporting links between the neighbours.