BCCI rules out Indo-Pak cricket series in Dec

BCCI rules out Indo-Pak cricket series in Dec
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Anurag Thakur on Monday virtually ruled out the possibility of an early resumption of Indo-Pak bilateral cricket series even as he strongly condemned the Shiv Sena protests inside the board headquarters in Mumbai.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan is in India to discuss the possibility of an Indo-Pak series in December as per an MoU signed between the two boards, but Thakur said first the conditions have to improve to hold talks and only then could a bilateral series be possible.

The Shiv Sena protest in Mumbai on Monday that got the BCCI-PCB talks deferred was the third of its kind by the Uddhav Thackeray-led party in a fortnight against Pakistani personalities, the others being against Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali and former high-profile diplomat Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri.

Raising anti-Pakistan slogans, Shiv Sainiks barged into the office of BCCI president Shashank Manohar at the Cricket Centre at Wankhede Stadium here, hours before he was to meet Shaharyar Khan, who also happens to be the first cousin of the Indian cricketing legend Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi.

The protesters surrounded Manohar, asking him not to have any ties with Pakistan. They were seen waving black and saffron flags. Local Sena leader Pandurang Sakpal told reporters his party was firm that there should be no cricket match between the two countries.

Asked about the Sena being a part of the Maharashtra government, Sakpal said: “The government will do its job, we will do ours.”

There were reports of Manohar meeting Khan in the national capital, but Thakur said: “There is no official meeting with him in Delhi.”

Khan and PCB executive committee head Najam Sethi arrived in India on Sunday on invitation from the BCCI chief in an attempt to convince the Indian cricket board to confirm a bilateral series in December.

“We are proud of what the Shiv Sainiks did,” said Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member and spokesman Sanjay Raut, who is also the executive editor of party mouthpiece “Saamana”.
“It is the sentiment of the country's people that unless everything is okay along the border, there should not be any ties with Pakistan. We have not created any problem. This is not a law-and-order issue,” he said.

Meanwhile, BCCI vice-president and senior Congress leader Rajiv Shukla described the incident as shameful and unacceptable. “I request Uddhav Thackeray that BCCI be allowed to run cricket, and for BCCI, national interests are paramount,” he said.
BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said everyone is free to protest in this free and democratic country.

Speaking in the evening, Thakur said: “I condemn this attack. You can't barge into the BCCI office and force people not to hold talks. You can protest in a democracy, but do it on the streets. You can't barge into someone's home, office, headquarters.”

He went on to add: “I think the BCCI president is competent enough to discuss the matter with the PCB chairman, but the final call is always taken after discussing with the Union government. In terms of relations between the BCCI and the PCB, we had talked five months ago. I had made it clear earlier as well that talks can continue between the boards, but cricket will only happen when conditions improve.”

Comments (+)