Ehsan Mani, chief of Pakistan Cricket Board, has expressed his disappointment over the way things have turned out in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack that claimed the lives of 44 CRPF personnels. Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-E-Mohammed had claimed the responsibility of the attack and since then there has been outrage across the country against Pakistan. Unsurprisingly, it has affected the cricketing ties too.
There have been widespread calls to boycott Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup. The BCCI has now decided to write to the International Cricket Council and asking the “cricketing community to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates”. However, Mani is disappointed that politics and cricket is being mixed together.
“It is unfortunate that politics and cricket are mixing. It is never good for any sport,” Ehsan Mani told Sportstar.
Ehsan Mani also quoted South African Nobel peace prize winner Nelson Mandela, saying:
“Let’s paraphrase what Mr Nelson Mandela had once said, ‘the voice [of sports] is far reaching than any politician’. Sports has its own role to play. Politics has its own issues. The two should not mix.”
When asked if Pakistan received any letter from BCCI or is expecting any letter, Mani replied: “Why should we receive a letter? Of course, we haven’t received any letter.”
Reports also suggest that the Committee of Administrators looking to get Pakistan ousted from the 2019 edition of the ICC Cricket World.
Reacting to the developments in Indian cricket, Mani said: “I will not comment anything on that. Let the BCCI or the ICC decide anything, then only we can discuss about our plan of action.”
“You have to talk to the ICC about that. I won’t comment on what Mr Rai has said. We will discuss our plan of action if we hear anything from the ICC. As of now, there has been no communication,” he added.
The bilateral ties between the two nations were already suspended. The arch-rivals have not played a full bilateral Test series since 2007 when Pakistan visited India for three Tests and five One-Day Internationals. They played a short series of three ODIs and two T20s in India in December 2012, but otherwise, both have faced each other only in the ICC organised events or the Asia Cup.
The BCCI has also not kept Pakistan in its Future Tour Programmed for 2019-2023 cycles, snubbing the neighbouring country amongst its six proposed opponents for the World Test Championship beginning in 2019.