Joining the chorus favouring the resumption of bilateral cricket ties, former International Cricket Council (ICC) chief Ehsan Mani urged the Pakistan board to refrain from blindly following their Indian counterparts without putting forward their own point of view.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) invited Pakistan for a three-match One-Day International (ODI) series in December, a move warmly welcomed by the cricket fraternity and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) desperate to end the five-year hiatus.
While it was the PCB’s turn to host the series, the Pakistan board refused to go into the debate of revenue-sharing, saying its first priority was to revive cricket with India.
PCB is facing a budget deficit
The BCCI is expected to earn millions of dollars from the short series, gauged from the fact that television rights will be sold at an estimated $25 million. The PCB, which is facing a budget deficit, will not get the share for the series.
However, while Mani backed the resumption, he added that the PCB should have been involved in decision making as well.
“It is concerning to see that the BCCI solely took the decision,” Mani told The Express Tribune.
“Their working committee discussed it and their board decided it on their own without consulting the PCB. They blindly followed what the BCCI conveyed to them. The officials showed a lack of competence by saying yes without putting forward the board’s point of view.
“However, as far as the resumption is concerned, it will be good for world cricket, fans and help in bridging gaps between the two countries.”
‘PCB must compel BCCI to play at neutral venue’
The former chief of the sport’s governing body also stressed that the PCB should also clarify terms for the next series before the December rubber, being termed as the ice-breaking fixtures.
“The PCB should have demanded the revenue sharing. The BCCI is expected to earn a sum of $100 million from the series.
“But if the PCB is conceding the revenue then it should take BCCI’s word about the next series which is very important.
“It is a fact that Pakistan cannot host India on its soil in the next two years. The PCB will have to convince the BCCI to play at neutral venues.
“If Australia and England can play us then why can’t India come at the neutral venues?
“If the PCB continues to go the BCCI’s way it will not get much benefit from the revival.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2012.