The PCB has rejected the BCCI’s offer of playing a bilateral series in India. In an interview with The Indian Express, former ICC president Ehsan Mani says Pakistan has every reason to stick to its guns. Excerpts:
The PCB has rejected the BCCI overture. Could it have been more flexible?
I totally agree with the PCB. The MoU signed between the two boards specifically mentions that this series should be played either in Pakistan or at a neutral venue. The agreement is there in writing. When the BCCI was seeking the PCB’s support for ‘Big Three’, they had agreed to play six bilateral series with Pakistan during the ongoing FTP cycle.
This series is part of that package. It’s disappointing and unfortunate that the BCCI is trying to change the ground rules of an agreement it has agreed to in principle.
Rajeev Shukla has reportedly said the BCCI’s policy is that ‘bilateral matches should be played on each other’s soil’.
It’s sad. He’s the IPL chairman and they had played the IPL matches in the Emirates (last year). So why is he/BCCI reluctant to play against Pakistan in the UAE?
But Shukla wasn’t the IPL chairman then…
Doesn’t matter. The BCCI is an institution and Shukla has been part of the setup. As a member, he didn’t raise an objection about moving the IPL matches to the UAE.
The BCCI is open to reciprocate the favour in the near future if the PCB accepts its invitation.
In 2012, Pakistan visited India for three matches and it had been agreed that India would play a return series. But the BCCI had reneged on the promise. So what guarantee does the PCB have this time?
Do you think Ten Sports is a reason for the BCCI’s reluctance?
If that’s the case, they should say so. The BCCI should publicly clarify its stand; that it has problems with Ten Sports being the host broadcaster for the series. Ten Sports was allowed to bid for the World Cup rights when N Srinivasan was the ICC chairman. Tenders have been accepted from them for other ICC events as well. They hold the rights to broadcast Pakistan’s home series.