The Indian Cricket Board’s relations with the ICC, headed by Shashank Manohar, hit a new low after Indian women’s cricket team was docked six points for not playing bilateral series with Pakistan between August 1 to October 31 as per agreement.
There are possibilities that men’s team might not play Champions Trophy in protest against the women cricketers being made “soft targets” in the name of rules and regulations.
A furious BCCI has lodged a protest with the global body who are well aware that any bilateral series against Pakistan needs government permission under current political scenario, which ICC’s Indian chairman is well aware.
“ICC is well aware that in prevailing situation where Indian soldiers are being martyred, the sentiment is dead against playing Pakistan. The chairman is well aware that we need government permission,” a furious senior BCCI official said on Wednesday.
“This is a move with ulterior motive trying to play into the hands of Pakistan. They would say if women can play so can men. But that won’t happen. If ICC does not backtrack, the men’s team in solidarity with our women’s team won’t play in Champions Trophy,” he added.
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An ICC release on Wednesday stated: “Following consideration of written submissions from both PCB and BCCI, the ICC Technical Committee has ruled that the India Women’s team is deemed to have forfeited each of the three matches it was due to play against Pakistan in Round 6 of the ICC Women’s Championship, and that the associated points should be awarded to Pakistan.”
“The matches, which were due to be played between August 1 & October 31, 2016, were not formally scheduled and did not ultimately take place, and the Technical Committee has ruled that Pakistan will be awarded two points for each of the three games and, in accordance with the ICC Women’s Championship playing conditions, India shall be considered to have scored 0 runs in each of the 50 overs in each of the three matches and that its net run rate shall be adjusted accordingly.”
The Technical Committee said while it was sensitive to the current state of relations between the nations of India and Pakistan, but concluded that the BCCI had not been able to establish ‘acceptable reasons’ for not participating in the series.
The ICC’s relationship with BCCI has soured on a number of issues since Shashank Manohar became independent chairman. From changes proposed in revenue sharing to not having India in the working group, Manohar’s stance has been perceived by many as anti-India despite BCCI members having full faith in his leadership.
A top ranking office bearer of the BCCI commented: “It seems as if Manohar’s anti-BCCI stand is becoming an anti India stance. As a former BCCI president he is well aware why the men’s team could not play a bilateral series with Pakistan last year. Despite that if Indian women’s team is docked points for not playing Pakistan, it means he does not care about the public sentiment.”
With Parliament session on, BCCI president Anurag Thakur was unavailable for comment.