The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani wants the ICC to help restore his country’s bilateral playing ties with India, saying that it is the world body’s responsibility. “I have already talked about it, though informally, at the ICC level. But now I am in the PCB and I will raise it more effectively that the ICC should ensure the bilateral series among all the countries,” Mani told the ‘Dawn’ newspaper in an interview.
“Look, if there is no bilateral cricket series between India and Pakistan, why do they play us in the ICC tournaments?” he asked. There has been no full bilateral series between the two countries since 2007 when Pakistan played a Test series in India.
In the winter of 2012-13, Pakistan toured India for a short goodwill series of limited-over matches, but India have refused to engage in a bilateral Test series with Pakistan after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
The ICC’s dispute resolution committee is to give its verdict on a compensation claim of USD 70 million filed by the PCB against the BCCI. The PCB has asserted that the BCCI did not honour a Memorandum of Understanding. The Indian Board has maintained that the MoU was not legally binding on it.
“Unfortunately, it has never happened in the history of the ICC that two cricket boards are fighting a case against each other. Had I been at the helm at the time of filing the case, I would have preferred to resolve the matter through negotiation,” Mani said.
Mani said the dialogue should have continued between the boards and it would have been good to involve the governments of the two countries for a solution.
“I played a key role in 2004 through dialogue and I also persuaded England to visit Zimbabwe after setting aside the political stance of their government about the situation in Zimbabwe at that time,” he said.
The PCB chief said that if Pakistan’s compensation claim is rejected by the ICC committee, he would continue to try to talk to India.
“My intention is not to beg for cricket but to talk with anyone on equal term. We are ready to play and we have to go with each other “Then we will talk and if we fail we will again our raise voice in the ICC since its constitution has the clauses against government interference, but there have to be discussion over the nature of the interference,” he said.
(With PTI Inputs)