‘Big Three’ monopoly: India offered PCB quid pro quo

Published: March 11, 2014
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India had offered a minimum of three home and three away tours between 2015 and 2023. PHOTO: FILE

India had offered a minimum of three home and three away tours between 2015 and 2023. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: 

The Big Three’s takeover of the International Cricket Council (ICC) took place despite strong opposition from some boards – including Pakistan’s. But it has transpired that the row had briefly opened up a window of opportunity for Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

India – which is now known as the biggest of ‘Big Three’ – had offered the PCB quite an attractive quid pro quo.

The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) had offered the PCB three home and three away tours between 2015 and 2023 in return for support at the ICC. The deal would have fetched PCB around $100 million.

The deal, however, broke down when the then PCB chairman, Zaka Ashraf, asked for guarantees which the BCCI was reluctant to commit. Details of the collapsed deal were shared with members of the PCB governing board at a meeting held on January 18.

Ashraf had chaired the meeting at the National Cricket Academy which also discussed a position paper about the distribution of ICC revenues in the years to come, according to minutes of the meeting, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune.

“India had offered a minimum of three home and three away tours between 2015 and 2023,” a senior PCB official told The Express Tribune. “The estimated income from these tours was to the tune of $100 million. But it was conditional upon the PCB agreeing to the terms of the position paper presented by the Big Three.”

In addition to this, a short tour to the UAE was also offered by India while in an initial discussion before the ICC meetings on new changes, Pakistan was told that they could become a fourth permanent member of the group led by India, Australia and England.

Ashraf wanted the BCCI to include clauses in the contracts that if the promise was not kept then the case would be heard in Switzerland – where all ICC-related cases are decided.

At the January 18 meeting, Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmed suggested that the proposal be looked at pragmatically and negotiation with India, England and Australia be done to extract the best bargain for Pakistan.

The whole saga led to the sacking of Ashraf by PM Nawaz Sharif, who is now also the patron of PCB.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (64)

  • Arindom
    Mar 11, 2014 - 2:51AM

    It’s all a big business – all run by a closed club of un-accountable greedy people. The common fan is the only loser…

    Originally TV Ads used to come at drink/tea/lunch breaks. Then ads began to be shown only between overs. Now it is after every ball and more during bundaries and sixes. It’s got so bad that now you only get to watch some glimpses of cricket between endless advertisements…the screen has shrunk too with on-screen ads popping up everywhere. Sometimes the ad starts even before the ball has travelled to the boundary!!

    Soon you’ll only get to hear only running commentary…between jingles selling soaps to scooters…picture has become unwatcheable anyway…..All Fans Unite to protest!

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  • Saeed
    Mar 11, 2014 - 2:54AM

    PCB was right to ask for credible guarantees as Bangladesh had backed out after availing Pak support for to get Vice President’s position at ICC. The lollipop of six series in 8 years is neither good enough nor credible until it is defend able in the court of law. At least Ashraf did not sell the soul for a promise by the BCI known for bullying

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  • unbelievable
    Mar 11, 2014 - 3:02AM

    So India won the vote and Pakistan lost a $100 million deal – that about sum it up? At a minimum you should have voted NO rather than abstain – a more practical approach would have you voting yes and getting the $100 million.

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  • Maula Jatt
    Mar 11, 2014 - 7:12AM

    @unbelievable: Pakistan made the right decision to avoid this monopoly over cricket. Time will reveal that when these dictators start abusing their power. All wrong actions will be gain wrong results for the big 3 dictators.

    To believe that India would ever give into any interest for Pakistan is laughable. Whether in cricket, invasion, funding terrorism, occupation of Kashmir, or border attacks of Pakistani civilians, India has never missed an opportunity to attack Pakistan and its right to live in peace.

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  • Ali
    Mar 11, 2014 - 7:16AM

    @unbelievable:
    Given the credibility record of ICB vis-a-vis pakistan, BCCI would have still backed away once it had secured the pakistani vote. That would have been an even more embarrassing situation. Now at least PCB stands on higher moral ground by opposing the domination (and possible degradation) of cricket by the big 3.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Mar 11, 2014 - 7:22AM

    @Saeed:
    Your math is very weak. These six series are against India alone. Six series and $ 100 Million in Eight years is better than zero series and zero money. Future of Pakistan Cricket is not about Zaka or other board officials, its about our young players.

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  • enigma
    Mar 11, 2014 - 7:47AM

    Respect for Zaka Ashraf for being sensible and asking for guarantees. It would’ve been really stupid to trust the BCCI. It was really impressive how he dealt with the situation and he shouldn’t have been sacked.

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  • Honest Indian (USA)
    Mar 11, 2014 - 7:52AM

    PCB did the right thing. If clauses pertaining to assurances weren’t being included then BCCI was simply negotiating in bad faith. How can one negotiate in blind faith? Very unprofessional of BCCI.

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  • IndianTroll
    Mar 11, 2014 - 8:31AM

    What fool-proof guarantees could BCCI have given anyway? The BCCI cannot countermand any government directive to shelve a bilateral series with Pakistan if something like the Mumbai attacks was to recur.

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  • indian
    Mar 11, 2014 - 8:40AM

    @Saeed:
    guarantee should be asked only when you yourself have credibility.
    now you didn’t get 100 million and also india went on to become leader of world cricket.

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  • PeaceMonger
    Mar 11, 2014 - 9:11AM

    @Saeed: He didn’t “sell his soul” alright. But why did he lie that “Pakistan received threats from India” if it did not vote for the Big Three?? Can anything be believed coming from his mouth?

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  • Khan
    Mar 11, 2014 - 9:15AM

    @unbelievable:

    Pakistan lost a $100 million deal

    No PCB did not lose any such amount … one does not sign a contract that does not have everything clearly written down in detail. If there was no dishonesty then why was BCCI showing hesitation?

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  • iram
    Mar 11, 2014 - 9:15AM

    Well played Zaka.

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  • Rajesh
    Mar 11, 2014 - 9:18AM

    Pakistan again taking its usual route. First, go against the mainstream, stand apart, talk about dignity which is actually ego with no substance to backup, then finally get isolated. The next phase then starts. Crying, whining, complaining that the whole world is conspiring against them and they are always the victim.

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  • syed
    Mar 11, 2014 - 9:23AM

    Voting Yes, Get a million bucks and becoming slaves to Big three is just not the way. I will not be surprised if ICC is self-dismantled or becomes a meaningless entity in coming years. Its not a damn IPL where you can throw money and buy your way out to victory. I think UN and ICC both are a waste of time and resources, and they share one trait in common, which is to provide bullies and rich guys to legalize their illegal actions. Good decision PCB! Let this Big three run the show until they become obselete

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  • Raj Kafir
    Mar 11, 2014 - 9:25AM

    Pakistani cricketers got hero’s welcome after the Asia Cup. I fail to understand the bizarre welcome. Shahid Afridi ‘s magic won couple of games for Pakistan in the tournament. He did not face single ball and remained not out at zero in the Final Game. Pakistani team earned the dubious distinction of conceding maximum runs to a team ( BD ) which finished last. Boycotting the reforms was a mistake. Mr Zaka Ashraf ruined the future of Pakistan’s cricket. Bangla Desh agreed to the reforms and managed to hit Pakistan hard and proper, even though she lost to the magic of Lala.

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  • Radhawa
    Mar 11, 2014 - 9:25AM

    Correct decision by PCB.

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  • Blunt
    Mar 11, 2014 - 9:33AM

    Lolz that’s what called showing ‘green gardens’

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  • Mar 11, 2014 - 9:36AM

    Message to PCB !!!

    Please don’t fall under the aforesaid offer as proposed by ICC. In the longer run/ future, PCB may suffer huge losses and our cricket will eventually be compromised.

    India will never principally agreed and would like to see Pakistan cricket progressing/ flourishing where by they want to gain publicity and dominance in the Asia region. IPL is the proven identity…!!!

    I would humbly request the PCB to put a strong footage and dictate their terms benefiting Pakistan sports only.

    For Pakistan we must stand together.Recommend

  • Imran
    Mar 11, 2014 - 9:52AM

    We are the victims of our ego. Mooch nae tay kuch nae!!!.

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  • Arslan
    Mar 11, 2014 - 9:53AM

    @unbelievable

    You make and things sound so easy and simple, are you from PMLN they to have a habbit of whipping out loadsheeding crisis in less than 9 months and launching bullet trains.

    Zaka Ashraf, had the decency and asked for guarantees which the BCCI was reluctant to commit.
    if you review the news paper than you will find Zaka Ashraf, requesting for premiere (Nawaz) urgent attention immediately over this issue, but rai wind busyRecommend

  • Blue jersey
    Mar 11, 2014 - 10:03AM

    I wonder why none of the cricket playing nations including Afghanistan does not want play in pakistan? Why is it that while rest of the 9 nations agreed with Big 3 PCB alone stands isolated? How come while all the cricketing boards grew by leaps and bounds in the past 10yrs PCB alone degraded to such a low level that even BCB dictates terms to PCB? Think about it and you will find the answer lies within your own country.

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  • SK5
    Mar 11, 2014 - 10:52AM

    @indian:

    Leader of world cricket lol. First learn to beat other teams besides Bangladesh and Afghanistan then talk about being a leader LMAO.

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  • Spock
    Mar 11, 2014 - 10:58AM

    Everyone has a price and i think 100 million was a bit too much for PCB. They wanted it but they wanted guarantees with it, when they didnt get the guarantee then they tried to portray themselves as martyrs.

    In the end they didnt get a single penny, lost all the friend and big three still got bigger.

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  • Pakistani
    Mar 11, 2014 - 10:59AM

    This is a blessing in disguise and an ideal opportunity for PCB to direct its efforts in strengthening the domestic cricket. It is a widely accepted view amongst majority of the ex-players and ex-board officials that this ‘Big 3’ scam will not work and will die its own death.Recommend

  • Np
    Mar 11, 2014 - 11:04AM

    @Saeed:
    Okay so now what does it have? No guarantees and no matches and the resolution passed without Pakistan’s support comfortably anyway?

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  • Syed Imam
    Mar 11, 2014 - 11:07AM

    There is a life after cricket. Pakistan should focus on other Olympic sports and forget cricket.

    Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Mar 11, 2014 - 11:20AM

    @indian:
    India is the world leader in match fixing. Pathetic.Recommend

  • lol
    Mar 11, 2014 - 11:31AM

    Leaders of cricket. Haha more like whipping boys.. Can only win at home.. A complete joke abroad.

    Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Mar 11, 2014 - 11:56AM

    @Indian
    Cricket was knwon as the Gentlemen’s game once, than india started playing it and ruined the game. As far as the leader of cricket is concerned, the only phrase came in my mind “if wishes are horses then beggers (indians) would rider of that.”

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  • Qamber
    Mar 11, 2014 - 11:59AM

    @Indian

    After Big Three India can be a leader of cricket but… only in business because they cannot purchase performance for them …

    Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Mar 11, 2014 - 12:14PM

    @Honest Indian (USA):

    Are you really an Indian? 99% of Indian commentators toe the same line whether right / wrong or partially right-wrong. I am amazed at your intellectual courage.

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  • Kaleem
    Mar 11, 2014 - 12:53PM

    @indian, who says India has become world leader in cricket.

    Please correct us, World leader in being home bullies and losing on every continent? or the world leader of most hyped players.

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  • Indian Reader
    Mar 11, 2014 - 1:06PM

    @Pakistani:
    @SK5:

    India ranks in top three of all three formats of the game, well ahead of Pakistan. It is Pakistan which recently lost a test to a minnow like Zimbabwe Financially, India is the leader of world cricket and without the support of Indian people, the game can’t survive for sure. So keep crying… You can’t even play a home series at HOME…

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  • Zulfiqar Baig
    Mar 11, 2014 - 1:09PM

    Big Three’s monopoly is Cricket occupation.Recommend

  • Abdullah
    Mar 11, 2014 - 1:29PM

    The promises from BCCI are not even worth the paper on which they are presented. In past, BCCI had agreed but Indian Govt had not provided the clearance for tours to Pakistan. The political backlash and the fear of losing to Pakistan (even though in a cricket match) is in such great propotions that any Indian Govt will never preclear any such series unless the relationships between the two countries normalize. Instead of bickering on this issue anymore, BCCP with other like-minded cricketing authorities should think of a counter strategy and try to play more than often amongst themselves and to upgrade their respective cricketing statures.

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  • Abdullah
    Mar 11, 2014 - 1:31PM

    Atleast there is a consensus amongst all the bloggers. With India on top, Cricket is no more a gentleman’s game..

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  • dufferuddin
    Mar 11, 2014 - 2:05PM

    @Abdullah:
    Gentleman’s Game -Look who is preaching about gentleman’s game. With ball-eating and spot-fixing, some abdullah’s still have gall to talk about gentleman’s game – HUH, who gives a rat’s.

    Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Mar 11, 2014 - 2:25PM

    @Indian Reader:
    We cant not play at home but we still win series playing abroad unlike India which only wants to play at home because they get their posterior handed over to them whenever they play abroad. India tour to New Zealand recenlty; you lost the test and One day series!!

    The state of affairs is so lame that BCCI pleaded to your Supreme Court not to make public the cricketers named in the report. Read and weep…..

    http://sports.ndtv.com/indian-premier-league-2014/news/221655-ipl-scandal-dont-reveal-players-names-bcci-pleads-supreme-court

    Recommend

  • hassan
    Mar 11, 2014 - 3:32PM

    Najam Sethi would have accepted this proposal because he is very cool person when dealing such matters. He Would have looked at the bigger picture

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  • Dagga
    Mar 11, 2014 - 3:34PM

    India can only made false promise just how they did with Bangladesh for not touring Pakistan and then they showed their back by not fulfiling their promise of playing a series. This is True!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! all indians dont forget that. Recommend

  • Sports Lover
    Mar 11, 2014 - 3:36PM

    India can only play mind games not game of cricket because it was against Cricket South Africa (CSA) and even shortened their series in protest of Haroon Lorgat but now they have shook hands with them. What is this is it cricket the so called game of gentlemen.

    SORRYYYYYYYYYYY 2 SAY I DON’T Think so ICC and India has lost respect for me.

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  • Pin2
    Mar 11, 2014 - 3:54PM

    Moral of the Story: There is a huge trust deficit.

    How could BCCI sign a contract before Pakistani has voted in favour of India in ICC changes. What if Pakistani had voted against BCCI after getting a contract signed. Bear in mind that you cannot add any clause in any contact that states that the contract is offered in exchange of support in any independent body/organization/voting. The contract would have been null and void if that would have been added as this would be considered Bribing in the eyes of law.

    Any ways, Pakistani is better off without $100m from BCCI which would come after selling your county. They already have enough coming in as Aid from USA & Saudis as a reward for the great service they are doing to Islam.

    cheers!Recommend

  • Lalit
    Mar 11, 2014 - 5:59PM

    so the problem was not with the changed format but the GUARANTEE…Recommend

  • Bala
    Mar 11, 2014 - 6:03PM

    England Cricket Board vouched for BCCI’s offer and goodwill, but Pakistan flatly refused.

    Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Mar 11, 2014 - 6:19PM

    @Indian Reader:
    We can npt play at home but we still win series playing abroad unlike India which only wants to play at home because they get their posterior handed over to them whenever they play abroad. Remember what happend a month ago with New Zealand?!

    The state of affairs is so lame that BCCI pleaded to the Supreme Court not to make public the cricketers named in the report. Read and weep…..

    http://sports.ndtv.com/indian-premier-league-2014/news/221655-ipl-scandal-dont-reveal-players-names-bcci-pleads-supreme-court

    Recommend

  • Indian Reader
    Mar 11, 2014 - 7:13PM

    @Pakistani:
    No need of weeping mate. India in a transistion phrase with all of their seniors retired and the young ones just need some experience. India has won many series abroad and it was Pakistan team who was bowled out for 45 runs in SA losing the series 3-0. For your information, In India even the Prime Minister is not above the law. If any cricketers are guilty, they will be broguht under the law.
    It is the same India which has won all the matches including the warm ups in CT 2013. Also we are playing non-stop cricket since 2012 and and since every country wants to play India, there is not enough rest to our key players. It was Pakistani players were weeping for not able to play the IPL. Pakistan can’t chase anything over 200 out side the sub-continent, and any thing above 250 in the sub-continent. More over Pakistan Cricket team is an expired product with most of its player on the wrong side of 30’s, where as Indians are young and learning. So just weep and watch IPL. Just two lucky slogs by Afridi not going to win the matches for Pakistan always.

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  • someone
    Mar 11, 2014 - 8:09PM

    @Ahmad:
    Indians are playing cricket when Pakistan was not even born :) Recommend

  • someone
    Mar 11, 2014 - 8:31PM

    @Ahmad:
    Well i think right now it is Pakistan begging everyone to play with them and even Bangladesh refused of what i heard in past. I think Pakistanis think very clever of themselves but end up looking fools when the dust settles. They lie through their teeth and always riding the emotional horses and as soon as they see the name “India” , their rationalism and pragmatism goes down the drain. It blinds them. They can’t see any more what is good or bad for them. Result, they always end up as looser. Well they can keep blowing the trumpet of their high moral grounds ( which is highly debatable by the way) , the $100 millions are gone. And that is why PM Pakistan has removed Mr. Ashraf and put Mr. Sethi on the job knowing that he can deal better.

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  • Zen
    Mar 11, 2014 - 9:19PM

    People in Pakistan are taught that the “Big Three” only means “India, India and India”. Shows their pea size mindsets.

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  • Reddy
    Mar 11, 2014 - 9:53PM

    what is that pakistan boasting about….pak won a match against 2nd string indian team and exuberance already overreaching it’s arms…if that match proved anything that pak team even more fragile than anybody thought ….coming to big3 which is already in place for ages now that they just got it authenticated

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  • Pankaj
    Mar 11, 2014 - 10:07PM

    Ohhh… so it was all about the guarantee only ?? if BCCI had given the guarantee they would have joined the rest ??? so much of High moral ground… pathetic

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  • BCCI
    Mar 12, 2014 - 12:07AM

    Now back to your favourite hobby – Begging!!!

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  • Maula Jatt
    Mar 12, 2014 - 8:24AM

    Pakistan needs to increase its cricket talent and constantly defeat India, England, and Australia in every cricket match. That is the only way to disprove this scam big three move. Embarrass these dictators.

    With Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Junaid Khan, Muhammad Hafeez, and others, we have a fairly good chance.

    Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Mar 12, 2014 - 9:54AM

    The whole debate is pointless. We should concentrate on the inherently unjust changes in the ICC instead of discussing the feasibility or otherwise of accepting the Indian bribe to play ball in their nefarious plan. Although there is no comparable precedence in other global sports bodies, the enhanced financial share of Big Three can be accepted based on lopsided market realities. What my Indian friends need to explain that how come all administrative, technical and legal management can be handed over to a minority on perpetual basis? And how come the test ranking will be possible in the absence of Future Tours Programme. Remember all test playing nations are more or less required to play home / away series against all others in an eight year cycle. Bilateral agreements will mean that smaller nations (marketing wise) will get to play much less compared to bigger nations. Now that would not be a problem if ICC had 160 full members like FIFA in which case the smaller nations (again in marketing sense) can play on a regional level among themselves and remain busy all year without too much repetition. Unfortunately ICC has only 10 full members (whose playing records are officially recognized). Imagine the bottom half of ICC members sitting idle and seeing the game wither in their countries just because they are not considered financially worth to host rich boards in their countries or even be invited to their countries. Remember INDIA has still not hosted BANGLADESH in the last ten years because of meager returns.This will soon become a rule instead of an exception. Ultimately people will get tired of seeing the same few teams battling each other while the others will get weaker and not worth watching anyway. Remember the Kerry Packer circus? The best of the best but still not sustainable. Bye Bye ICC

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  • Pakistani
    Mar 12, 2014 - 12:01PM

    @Indian Reader:
    hahahaa….Transition, new blood, learning!!?? Just silly excuses. No wonder your media and people are after blood whenever India gets a beating. You will find that India since 2001 has never won a series outside the sub-continent after losing the first Test. The result – India are winless in their last 14 away tests. You must really be feeling so proud of this amazing record !! And your bowling.. hahahaa, dont let me even start.

    “Just two …. Pakistan always”. Go and see the head to head count and you will have your answer.

    The list is endless, now go and wipe away your tears.

    Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Mar 12, 2014 - 12:09PM

    @someone:
    ok so when will you learn?

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  • MK
    Mar 12, 2014 - 2:43PM

    How could have BCCI guaranteed three home series to Pakistan when they cannot guarantee security to cricketers.

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  • Indian reader
    Mar 12, 2014 - 4:43PM

    @Pakistani:
    No series win outside sub continent since 2001 for India ? that sums up your cricketing knowledge mate. India has won in Eng, WI, Zim during this period. Drawn one series in SA 1-1. Almost won in SA last series also. Ya with modest bowling attack we won two world cups, CT 2013, W T20,Asia Cups and many many other trophies. You wanna count ? In tests you don’t know what experience means. Do you know how much test runs Laxman, Ganguly, Dravid and Sachin scored between them? it is more thans 35000 runs. When any team misses such experience it is hard to compensate. Even the great Australians struggled!. Please also be informed mate that Pakistan cricket is dying and without BCCI’s help PCB not gonna survive next 5 years. So stop your hatred against India and go and do your home work.

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  • someone
    Mar 12, 2014 - 6:37PM

    @Pakistani:
    Learn what? And from whom? care to explain?

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  • Jayesh
    Mar 12, 2014 - 7:19PM

    @Ahmad:
    All world know who are beggers ! Pakistan is in a deep trouble economically,miltarily and in all fronts.

    Recommend

  • Big father
    Mar 13, 2014 - 1:39AM

    @Jayesh We are not by default beggers but circumstances forces us to only take helps that is not begging bro. Pakistan cricket will rule the world.
    India lost in U19 world cup and Asia Cup as well so how can they call themselve as big one of big 3 hahahaha

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  • Big father
    Mar 13, 2014 - 1:40AM

    And first clear dirt of your home IPL is in a fix of fixing mess. Who is responsible Indians

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  • Prakash
    Apr 10, 2014 - 2:07AM

    So, The final word is it was never a principled stand of Pakistan but Pakistan is opposing the Big three only because India did not offer the deal in writing otherwise they would have done as asked by India

    Recommend

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