Letter to PCB: BCCI expresses regret over Mumbai incident

Updated 29 Oct 2015

Email

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan speaks during a press conference in Lahore on October 21, 2015. — AFP/File
PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan speaks during a press conference in Lahore on October 21, 2015. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in a letter to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday expressed regret over the cancellation of talks between Shaharyar Khan and Shashank Manohar.

“We have received a letter from the BCCI expressing regret over what happened in Mumbai on October 19,” Amjad Hussain, PCB’s director of media operations, told Dawn.

The BCCI, in its letter, said that they have approached the Indian government for the approval of a bilateral series between the two traditional rivals.

Shaharyar Khan, along with a three-member PCB delegation, visited India to discuss with BCCI president Shashank Manohar to take a final decision whether India was ready to play the series as per the MoU signed last year.

However, members of Indian extremist party Shiv Sena party sabotaged the scheduled meeting at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, when around 40 to 50 individuals stormed the venue of the meeting prior to its start.

Read: PCB letter to BCCI seeks rescheduled meeting on bilateral series

The Indian Express said Shiv Sena workers shouted anti-Pakistan slogans ahead of a meeting between PCB and BCCI officials over resumption of cricket ties.

As a result, the BCCI cancelled the meeting but it failed to contact the PCB delegation to take it into confidence about the next step.

‘Hope BCCI withstands pressure’

Talking to Dawn today, Hussain said, “PCB hopes the BCCI withstands the pressure of an extremist minority and honours the Memorandum of Understanding.”

“We are opposing Pakistanis associated with the IPL coming to India. We will talk to the organisers to drop Pakistani coaches, commentators and officials. If they do not listen then we will ruin the game in Shiv Sena style,” a party spokesman had said earlier.

The top PCB official also said that there is still hope for an India-Pakistan bilateral showdown in December.

Read: Shiv Sena activists storm BCCI HQ over Shaharyar-Manohar meeting

The two countries have not played a full series against each other since 2007, though Pakistan toured India for a short series in December 2012.

Last year PCB and BCCI had signed a MoU under which they were scheduled to play six series in the 2015-2023 Future Tours Programme, but all were subject to clearance from New Delhi.

Cricket fallout

The fiasco at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai had come as a shock to many Pakistan cricketers.

“One sees no reason why the senior most Pakistani officials should have gone to India to discuss a tour that is supposed to be played in Pakistan (or Pakistan’s current home venue the UAE) in the first place.

“The protocol is that officials of the touring side should visit the officials of the home side and these protocols have been put in with a purpose,” former Test cricketer, Asif Iqbal, wrote in a column for Dawn.

Earlier in September, outspoken T20 skipper Shahid Afridi said the PCB should stop pushing for a series against India and concentrate more on persuading other teams to tour Pakistan.

“I don't know why we are pushing for a series against India again and again. I don't see any reason to play against India if they don't want to play,” Afridi had told reporters in Lahore.

Read: Pakistan govt should talk to India for resumption of bilateral cricket, says BCCI secretary

Legendary batsman and former Pakistan captain, Javed Miandad, had also lashed out at the BCCI, saying the Indian board was taking absurd dictations from the Indian government by asking Pakistan to initiate talks for resuming bilateral cricket series.

“The BCCI is not a cricket board but a government’s board,” he said.

“This attitude of India towards other cricketing nations is the beginning of their downfall and the day is not far when India would itself ask Pakistan for a series.”