International Cricket Council CEO Dave Richardson on Monday said he doesn’t forsee any threat to the high-profile India-Pakistan World Cup match, insisting that the two teams are bound by an ICC agreement to show up.
“For ICC events, all teams have signed a members’ participation agreement which requires them to participate in all the matches of the tournament and (in case of) any unjustified non-compliance with that provision, the playing conditions will kick in and the points will be awarded accordingly (to the other team),” he said when asked about the matter.
There were demands that India should boycott the game against Pakistan in the World Cup in Manchester on June 16 in the wake of last month’s Pulwama terror attack which killed more than 40 CRPF personnel.
Responding to the outrage, the Committee of Administrators running Indian cricket also wrote a letter to the ICC urging it to boycott countries from where “terrorism emanates”, but did not specifically name Pakistan.
Another controversy erupted when Indian team wore camouflage military caps during the third ODI against Australia in Ranchi as a mark of respect to the CRPF personnel who were killed in the Pulwama attack and donated its match fee to the National Defence Fund.
Pakistan strongly objected to the gesture and and wrote to the world body, accusing India of politicising the game.
The ICC, however, said the Indian team took prior permission from it and there was no political motive involved.
“In this case, it was a one-off consent. It was granted subject to the message around the wearing of the caps simply being sympathy with the people, who had lost their lives in the (Pulwama) attack and in particular, to help them raise funds for the families of the people who had lost their lives,” Richardson said.
“The ICC’s motto is clear we don’t want to mix politics with sports.”
Asked about the ICC’s role in the resumption of bilateral ties between India and Pakistan, Richardson said it was completely up to the two cricketing boards.
The ICC CEO said the perception about Pakistan among the rest of the world is slowly changing and the world body is supporting its member board to bring back international cricket to the nation.
He also said that the successful hosting of Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches will do a world of good towards achieving the goal.
Richardson also thanked foreign players, who made the trip to Pakistan for PSL.
“Step-by-step, certainly Pakistan is on the right path,” he said, assuring ICC’s support to the PCB in its efforts to encourage foreign teams to visit Pakistan.