Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar today criticised the Indian board decision to revive the Indo-Pak bilateral cricket ties because he thinks that Pakistan is not cooperating in the Mumbai attacks probe.
However, Gavaskar’s comments did not attract a reaction from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) whose senior official Rajiv Shukla said the former captain was entitled to his own opinion.
“Being a Mumbaikar, I don’t agree with the urgency that exists to resume bilateral ties when there is no co-operation [on the attacks] from the other side,” Gavaskar told NDTV before adding that India were due to play a lot of cricket in the near future and the addition of a series – against Pakistan – would not work in the team’s favour.
India are scheduled to host England for a four-match Test series followed by two Twenty20s before the tourists head back for Christmas with the second leg comprising five One-day Internationals to take place from January 11.
“Well, the players won’t get any time between the England series. Now they are not going to get a break. Players need the time to look after their injuries and get better.”
However, after refusing to comment on Gavaskar’s apprehensions, Shukla also ruled out BJP protests against the Pakistan team playing in India.
“The leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley was part of this decision and he supported the move,” said Shukla. “You can raise a lot of issues but the public has always wanted to watch India and Pakistan play. The relationship between the BCCI and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has also been cordial, irrespective of the political situation. The PCB has been very persistent over the past few years on resuming cricketing ties with Pakistan. We’ve also played against Pakistan even after 1971 war and after 1999 Kargil war.”
Shukla, meanwhile, ruled out the Indian team visiting Pakistan due to the law-and-order situation.
“Until the security situation in that country is conducive, there is absolutely no question of India travelling to Pakistan.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2012.
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