ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
2011 World Cup
BCCI trying to isolate Pakistan - Mani
September 10, 2009
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Former ICC president Ehsan Mani has accused the BCCI of trying to isolate Pakistan from the cricketing world and held it responsible for turning down the proposition of holding Pakistan's share of the 2011 World Cup matches at neutral venues.
Mani had, in May, told Cricinfo that India had engineered a split in the Asian bloc to deprive Pakistan of hosting rights for the 2011 World Cup in the fear of losing the tournament altogether following the attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore.
"I can say this with conviction that no board is today able to stand up to the Indian board in the ICC," Mani was quoted as saying on PTI. "Unfortunately, it is all about making money these days and the Indians dominate."
The power wielded by the BCCI, Mani said, was crucial to the idea of Pakistan staging their matches at neutral venues being dumped. He revealed there had been an agreement to go ahead with the proposition but the Indian board's objection prevailed in the end. "I know for a fact that this was decided, but India turned it down at the cricket committee meeting and since Saleem Altaf was representing Pakistan in Ijaz Butt's absence things went wrong somewhere," he said. "India then insisted that the matches should only be held in the South Asian region.
"In a calculated manner, India is trying to isolate Pakistan from international cricket. No board is willing to support us and we have no inputs coming from other boards."
Mani also expressed his concerns over Pakistan's participation in the World Cup, given the current state of relations between India and Pakistan. "No one including the ICC is willing to answer the most important question: what happens if relations don't improve between India and Pakistan until 2011," he said. "Will Pakistan get permission to play its matches in India?
"Given the existing relations between the two countries, any untoward incident can trigger off more problems. Then is the ICC willing to organise the World Cup without Pakistan?"
Mani, who served as ICC president from 2003-06, is widely thought to be the man who prompted the PCB's move to initiate legal action against the ICC for moving matches in Pakistan after the attacks in Lahore. Last month, both parties reached an agreement where it was decided that the PCB would retain its hosting fee and be paid an additional compensation for losing its hosting rights for the tournament.
Mani, however, clarified that the ultimate decision to file a legal notice against the ICC was the PCB's. "I gave them my honest opinion but the PCB took the final decision," he said. "When I was ICC president I ensured no board was allowed to promote its self interest and every board was treated equally and fairly. That is not happening now."
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