The ICC’s decision to award six points to Pakistan after the Indian women’s team was deemed to have forfeited each of the three matches of the ICC Women’s Championship was a result of non-communication from the BCCI about the team’s participation.
A well-informed source told PTI that there were multiple e-mail communication from ICC, but there was no response to any of the e-mails to provide reasons for not playing the series against Pakistan, which was scheduled to be held between 1 August and 31 October.
The ICC went by the book and it would have been a different scenario had BCCI given in writing that the political tension and cross-border terrorism was the reason for their “forfeiture”.
The ICC rule states that a documented reason is a must, which the governing body never had in its disposal.
It was also learnt that the BCCI has not filed any official appeal to the world cricket’s governing body.
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An ICC technical committee assigned to decide the matter felt the “BCCI had not been able to establish “acceptable reasons” for not participating in this series” at a time when Indian teams had been playing Pakistan in other international sport events.
The Indo-Pak clash in the Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament in Malaysia is being cited as example by many, and the junior hockey team from Pakistan is also coming to India for the Youth World Cup.
While BCCI bigwigs point their fingers at ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar, the counter point is that Manohar is not involved in this decision with the technical committee being headed by Geoff Allardice.
This is not the first time a country has been sanctioned for not honouring its obligation in an ICC event. Australia and the West Indies lost points as they did not play their scheduled matches in Sri Lanka during the ICC Cricket World Cup 1996, citing security concerns.
England and New Zealand similarly forfeited points by refusing to tour Zimbabwe and Kenya respectively during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003.
According to a well-informed source, ICC was also not bothered when parallels were being drawn between the Faf du Plessis ‘mintgate’ incident and ball tampering allegations levelled against Indian captain Virat Kohli since the video that emerged was outside the five-day reporting window.
When contacted a BCCI official said: “This is an excuse being used by the ICC. They very well know that we require government permission to play Pakistan. I don’t think they are giving the right picture.”