ISLAMABAD – The International Cricket Council (ICC) must have to wake up to ensure whatever little reputation the world cricket governing body has left must remain intact or else the ICC must be dissolved.
The ICC never ever even tried to make sure its members to honour their commitments. The Pakistan-India bilateral series is a classic example of the ICC’s inefficiency to act as if one agrees with the ICC argument that sour relations between Pakistan and Indian governments are the main reason behind both the nations are not playing bilateral series, then what is the role of the ICC. If they can’t implement rules and regulations, then what is the purpose of its establishment? Why it never even half-heatedly tried to contact the BCCI and make sure that the Indian board must fulfill its promises.
Like other international sports governing bodies, the ICC rules are also very clear that they always ask their associate members to stop government’s intervention in any matter of the board. If laws demand this from all the NOCs, then on what grounds, the ICC melts down under the BCCI’s so-called and childish argument that they need their government clearance to play bilateral series with Pakistan. Why the ICC keeps mum in this particular case and forces the BCCI to implement its rules? The reason is very simple that India is a hub of money for the ICC.
Now the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has also started following the BCCI footsteps and looking highly reluctant to tour Pakistan for playing two Tests and three ODIs, which are scheduled to be played in Pakistan in January and February. The tour is a part of the ICC Test Championship, which is at stake and how the BCB can refuse or make lame excuse especially when Sri Lankan cricket team recently has toured Pakistan and played two Test matches in Rawalpindi and Karachi.
Pakistan is completely safe for holding all kinds of sporting activities and not a single minor untoward incident occurred during the Sri Lankan team stay. The ICC security advisors had shown their satisfaction on security situation in Pakistan while the PCB has also promised to provide state-guest security to Bangladesh cricket team. There is absolutely no reason for the BCB and players to refuse to tour Pakistan. It is the ICC’s responsibility to ensure not only Bangladesh, but other cricket boards must not use lame excuses to avoid tour to Pakistan.
It is also high time for PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani and especially CEO Wasim Khan to use their contacts to bring full-fledged international cricket back to the country. Mani is touring Bangladesh where he is taking up the issue but he must understand that he is representing one of the cricketing super powers, who are the winners of ODI World Cup, T20 World Cup and ICC Champions Trophy. Wasim Khan should also use all his international exposure and relations with England and Wales Cricket Board to bring England team to Pakistan.
The ICC should not compromise on principles and take solid stance as it is their prime duty to safeguard the rights of all cricket-playing nations, who are their members. Due to flopped ICC policies, cricket still didn’t win global fan-following, despite the fact that it is being played in almost all the major country. It is hoped that the ICC’s top brass will take up this issue very seriously and make sure BCB must fulfill its legal and moral obligation and tour Pakistan to play scheduled series without any delay.