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Play in India or face legal action: ICC gets tough with Pakistan Cricket Board


Jan 31, 2012
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has called the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s bluff.

The ICC has said the PCB’s concerns about security arrangements at the World T20, to be hosted in India this March, are baseless. It said it is satisfied with the security arrangements made by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

This came after PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said that the PCB might have to ask the ICC to host the World T20 matches at a neutral venue if the government doesn’t give them clearance to play in India due to security threats.

The ICC has also exposed the PCB’s double standards, as the Pakistan government recently okayed the participation of more than 100 athletes in the South Asian Games (SAG) being held in Guwahati.

Speaking to Mail Today, a senior ICC official said if so many Pakistani athletes can travel to India and participate in the SAG meet, there is no reason why 20 people can’t be allowed to represent the country at the mega ICC event.

“I don’t really get it. What is this double standards all about? If the Pakistan government can happily allow more than 100 athletes to go and participate in SAG, why can’t some 20 people - players and support staff - be allowed to go and play in the World T20? Are they trying to say that the security threat is cricketer specific? This isn’t a bilateral series and personal issues have no place in an ICC event,” he clarified.

The official said the matter had been brought up during the last ICC meeting - after the PCB raised concerns - and the BCCI has reworked security plans to ensure that Pakistani players’ safety isn’t compromised.

“We had a long discussion during the ICC meet on this issue and we definitely wanted to ensure that all loopholes are plugged. We spoke to the BCCI and they came back to us with strategies and we are satisfied with the arrangements. I obviously can’t disclose what the protocol is and how we plan to go ahead with the security arrangement, but let me assure you that safety of the players is paramount. We gave the green signal only after we were convinced there were no loopholes,” he said.

The ICC has also made it clear that the question of playing at a neutral venue would only arise if Pakistan’s concerns are genuine. It can’t be done at the whim and fancy of one board.

“The question of a neutral venue would come in if we felt that the BCCI lacked the capability to protect Pakistani players. There is no need for a neutral venue,” the official said.

Asked if the ICC had the authority to take stringent action if the PCB refused to participate in the World T20, the official reiterated that this wasn’t a bilateral series and the PCB is contracted with the ICC. So they would face legal action if they didn’t turn up for the mega event.

“In the case of bilateral series, our hands are tied. We can’t do much if one of the boards decide to pull out or cites government interference. But the World T20 is an ICC event. So there will be legal ramification if the Pakistan Board withdraws from the tournament,” he said.

While the PCB has cited government interference, it is widely believed that the PCB is trying to pull a fast one on the BCCI after the latter refused to play a limited-overs series against Pakistan at the start of the year. But the ICC said it doesn’t want to take sides.

“We won’t be taking sides here. So, the ICC is in no position to announce whether the PCB is trying to take revenge for the cancelled series. Whether they are or they are not, we do not have an idea. And as I told you earlier, we are not in control of bilateral series and we can at most try and convince boards to play. But when it comes to ICC events, participation is a must unless the threat is genuine,” he added.

ICC tells Pakistan Cricket Board: Play in India or face legal action | Daily Mail Online


Dec 18, 2014
Apparently news is false. If at all ICC did say something of this sort, ICC should know security of our players and fans is our concern. They will go when we think it is safe. And we don't give a rat's behind if ICC thinks it's safe or otherwise.

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