ISLAMABAD: In sheer desperation to play a cricket series with India, Pakistan Cricket Board has made a mockery of itself before the world and it seems like, for the board, playing with India is more important than national dignity and self-respect.
It has been months that Pakistan is rushing after India in a bid to persuade her to play a cricket series, but the latter is delaying the same on one pretext or the other.
First the BCCI said Pakistan was not a safe country to play cricket in, then it was of the view that the series should be held in India instead of a neutral venue, and when negotiations were also finalized to play the series in Sri Lanka, it came up with the excuse that the permission of the government would first be sought in this regard.
It was being hoped that some outcome regarding Pak-India series would emerge after the meeting of Indian Foreign Minister with Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, but to the disappointment of cricket fans nothing could emerge out of that as well regarding cricket.
Pakistan had signed an MoU with the BCCI to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023. Four of those series were to be hosted by Pakistan. The six tours-pending a legal agreement-will include up to 14 Tests, 30 ODIs and 12 T20s. The first of these bilateral series was to take place in the UAE this December.
PCB Chairman Sheharyar Khan had first given India an ultimatum till December 7, to decide about the fate of the series, and said the answer would be taken in negative if India did not respond till the deadline. Then he himself extended the time for two days, and now he said he still have some hope.
But, the cricket experts and former players have other opinions and they have, a number of times, urged PCB to stop running after the Indian board and focus on improving its cricket structure and attracting other international teams to Pakistan.
Former captain and legendary batsman Javed Miandad said Pakistan should talk principally and tell India that it was our series and we would decide about its fate.”It was time to become proud Pakistani and do not play with India merely because of financial benefits,” Miandad underlined.
PCB must now understand one thing that India is not sincere in fulfilling its words. In fact, it was enjoying the whole situation by degrading Pakistan.The former captain said it had proved that India could not be trusted when it comes to fulfillment of commitments.
India had a history of creating hurdles in Pakistan-India series, he said, adding, the government of Pakistan had shown a big heart and given PCB a green signal for the series.
Meanwhile, former leg-spinner Abdul Qadir has advised PCB to drag the BCCI to courts if the Indians back-out for the series saying a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the two boards which could not be ignored.
Former President International Cricket Council (ICC) Ehsaan Mani said there was very short time left in the series, if it was played according to the schedule, so Pakistan should herself declare not to play the series now.
“PCB should convey to BCCI that it’s too late and the series could not be played now,” he opined. It is perhaps not too late for PCB to preserve its remaining prestige and it should say straight-forward “No” to BCCI for the cricket series before it is too late and BCCI do the same leading to more disgracefulness of the former.