New Delhi: With the International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting taking place in Kolkata, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi is in the country and as expected, talks did turn towards the alleged MoU between India and Pakistan on playing bilateral series which PCB claims the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has not honoured. Sethi went to the extent of saying that Pakistan was ready to play India on any mutually agreed neutral venue and not just in the UAE. The BCCI though has done tough talking and asked the PCB to keep its players in check before talking about resumption of cricketing ties. This after Pakistani paceman Hasan Ali's recent antics at the Wagah Border.
Speaking to CricketNext, a senior BCCI official said that resuming cricketing ties with a country which doesn’t respect another country doesn’t even arise, let alone seeking government permission. In fact, the official went on to add that Ali’s bizarre antics at the Attari-Wagah border during the traditional flag-lowering ceremony following former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi’s comments on Kashmir further justified the Indian board’s stance of cutting all ties with its Pakistan counterpart because they were the ones who were mixing sports with politics.
“In an ideal world, we would host Pakistan in India and visit Pakistan to play there. Our willingness thus exceeds the willingness of PCB it appears, when we talk only of willingness. However, firstly Najam must understand that BCCI does not decide the policies of the government of India just the way PCB does not decide the policies of the government of Pakistan. We are an Indian organisation that is bound by the laws of India and we have to comply with them, it is not a card for us but a legal necessity. It may be optional to follow the law in Pakistan, but in India it is mandatory.
“Further, it is a bit much for Najam to say this when the Patron in Chief of the PCB is the sitting Prime Minister of Pakistan. I would also request Najam to sternly deal with the issue of the recent misbehaviour of the Pakistani cricketer in showing disrespect towards India as a country and other indiscriminate actions and words by former cricketers that do nothing to promote the right atmosphere for cricket. I do hope they at least understand the concept of a ‘gentleman’,” he said.
Ali was seen walking up to the Pakistani soldier in the middle of the ceremony. He then imitated the Rangers, patted his thigh and raised his arm, before replicating his signature celebratory move, all the while gesturing to the Indian soldiers and spectators on the other side. Ali was part of the Pakistani cricket team which visited the Attari-Wagah border to view the flag-lowering ceremony, considered to be the highlight of the day.
Former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi recently took to Twitter and urged the UN to intervene in ‘India Occupied Kashmir’ and stop the killing of ‘innocents’.
India though are expected to play Pakistan in the Asia Cup, which was shifted out of India to the United Arab Emirates and will be played in September.