When the whole cricketing world was busy in making future plans for the development of cricket in all full and associate members, Former ICC chief Ehsan Mani alleged that BCCI is trying to restrict Pakistan from playing at international level by using its finances and influence at ICC. Ehsan Mani is not the first person who spoke against BCCI’s negative role on influencing other members of ICC and getting things done through ICC what it BCCI wants. Jeffery Boycott and Tony Graig have also passed similar kinds of comments for BCCI however their words remained unheard because of the known reasons which were disclosed by Ehsan Mani.
Mani’s allegations revolve around Indian lobby for playing off the field against Pakistan, be it IPL or the matches against India at neutral venues. He asks the reason of refusing from playing against Pakistan, although Pakistani cricketers are crowd pullers and their game haunts the investors as well. Pakistani players were kicked out from IPL when they were world champions of T20. He claims that the reason is very obvious and it is to keep Pakistan away from cricket (including other sports).
This has recently been proved in annual ICC meeting as well. ICC is well-known as Indian Cricket Council for its pro-Indian decisions. The recent meeting made sure that India’s interests are properly taken care of, such as;
- Getting maximum number of test matches in FTP (future tour program) 2020 along with Australia and England. It is still a mystery why India is given more test? If it is only because of the so-called number one with a faulty ranking system which has been challenged by ex-captains Afridi & Sangakkara then why Australia & England are given too many tests if they do not stand number 2 and 3. Why world number 2, South Africa is not given that many matches? How can it be assured that India will remain world number one till 2020?
- Avoiding Pakistan in next 9 years (except playing one series which is part of old FTP)
- Getting couple of free months i.e. April & May every year till 2020 for IPL tournament (it is never discussed in the ICC meeting)
- Lobbying with associate members of ICC to influence voting against Rotation Policy which was postponed eventually if not decided according to BCCI’s interest
- Implementation of UDRS system as India wanted although rest of the whole world was in the favor of implementing it with all available resources. It will not be working in T20 matches and teams will have only one option in an innings. The whole world is still surprised why India is still resisting it except enhancing the chances of having more decisions in the favor of players. And the whole world accepting it although it is the most expensive technology and will be used once in an inning by a team and will remain inactive in rest of the match even if the chance goes wasted in first over of the innings. Will it not be expensive now?
- Use of Power play and new ball from both ends. It is a good decision to have lots of runs on the board from both the playing sides however 2nd decision is made to support seamers of England & India who can use new ball effectively and have to struggle with old ball. It will surely discourage genuine fast bowlers of Pakistan, Australia and South Africa who can hit back in death overs through reverse swing.
On the other hand, India has displayed another show of power in West Indies where Daryl Harper had been removed from conducted third test on the basis of Dhoni’s criticism, who said, “if the correct decisions were made, the game would have finished much earlier and I would have been in the hotel by now.”
Although the host board wanted him to stay for next scheduled match which was officially his last match as a member of the elite panel of ICC umpires as he had troubles with the Decision Review System but he had to stepped down immediately.
India has shown similar show of power in Australia few years back when Harbhajan-Symonds case was changed altogether and Harbhajan’s “Monkey” was tweaked with “Teri Maan ki”. He was saved from a possible life ban on the basis of racism.
The follow up of Indian Cricket Council on Amir, Asif and Salman’s case was exemplary but the ICC has shown no interest on Suresh Raina’s match fixing case and Hashan Tilkaratne’s match fixing allegations. Match between India & England in world cup 2011 was never investigated. No one points fingers on BCCI’s U-turn on SLPL. Doesn’t the whole story sound fishy and makes things suspicious?
As Mani said, it is not the Indian cricket board only that is playing with future of Pakistan cricket but PCB is equally responsible for mishandling all such matters and for the failures at diplomatic fronts.
PCB has requested ICC to stage T20 world cup 2018 in Pakistan. Was there any homework made before making this offer? Any actions taken to improve security concerns, any internal discussions, any contact with the government to make serious efforts to resolve these issues on priority and to give a proper road map to the ICC so that it could be taken as a serious offer. Or it was just a point scoring political stunt by a politically appointed chairman?
And above all, by 2018, who knows Pakistan Cricket Board grabs the “golden opportunity” of facing sanctions from ICC in 2013 by not removing ICC’s concerns regarding political interference on the game.
After Uncle SAM at political front, the whole world is facing similar kinds of threats from Uncle RAM of cricket world who is at full swing. Uncle RAM is so powerful that it makes and breaks laws and no one asks it for any clarifications. It designs tournaments according to what suits it, gets desired results, gets people removed by any means that are threat for it and makes its path to become on the field World Champion and off the field godfather of all the cricket playing nations.
Ehsan Mani’s words cannot be left unheard and Pakistan has to prepare for the future to avoid what Uncle RAM wants.