PCB threatens to go to ICC

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:05 IST

The Pakistan Cricket Board has issued a veiled threat of going to the International Cricket Council if India's tour doesn't go ahead.

New Delhi:

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has threatened to approach the International Cricket Council (ICC) to impose sanctions on India if the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) cancels the tour of Pakistan. In a telephonic interview to NDTV, PCB chief Shahryar Khan said that if the tour did not take place, PCB would have to seek remedy from the ICC. Uncertainty looms The Pakistan Cricket Board, which is already strapped for cash, stands to lose a lot in terms of sponsorship money in case the tour is scrapped. In the last two years, Pakistan has had virtually had no home cricket. New Zealand pulled out mid way through their series in 2002 after a bomb blast right outside their hotel in Karachi while Australia played three Tests against Pakistan in neutral grounds such as Colombo and Sharjah. But the Pakistani board isn't looking at a neutral venue, at least for now. Shahryar Khan told NDTV that Pakistan was not even willing to having the series in a neutral country. Weighing options Even as the three-member BCCI team is examining the security situation on the ground, uncertainty still hangs over whether the Government will allow the Indian team to tour Pakistan in March. The official line as of now is to wait till the Board's inspection team submits its report on security on February 18. But behind the scenes, various options are being considered. These include
  • curtailing the tour
  • not play in Peshawar and Karachi
  • cancel the one day matches
  • defer the tour till after the elections
But apart from security concerns for the players, there are also political risks involved if anything goes wrong before the elections. Wait and watch The BCCI is waiting for its delegation from Pakistan to return but have left the final decision to the government. "We are very hopeful and are just waiting for the clearance from the Home Ministry. That is why Mr Dalmiya has included one senior officer of the Home Ministry into the delegation. Security aspect has to be handled by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the moment they clear it we are ready for the tour," said Rajiv Shukla, a member of the BCCI. BCCI President, Jadmohan Dalmiya meanwhile issued a written statement. He said, "I have no news that the tour to Pakistan could be cancelled for whatever reason. The media is being impatient. One has to wait for our delegation to come back from Pakistan and give its report. BCCI's stand has always been to abide by the government decision." It was Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's initiative to have the cricket tour as a goodwill gesture and the final decision on whether India will tour Pakistan next month may be his. But as conflicting messages come from New Delhi over the future of the cricket tour, it's apparent that the Pakistani patience is wearing thin posing serious questions for the Indian cricket board.

Topics : Cricket
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