Severing cricketing ties with nations not our domain, ICC tells BCCI

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has turned down BCCI’s request to sever ties with countries from which “terrorism emanates”, saying it has no role to play in matters like these.

The issue came up during Saturday’s ICC board meeting chaired by chairman Shashank Manohar but not much time was spent on it.   -  Getty Images

The International Cricket Council (ICC) refused to entertain a request from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to “isolate” nations supporting terrorism in reference to Pakistan without naming the country. The BCCI made the move following the recent Pulwama terror attack which left 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel dead.

The BCCI CEO Rahul Johri raised the issue at the ICC Board meeting in Dubai but did not receive a positive response. “The issue came up for discussion but such matters are not decided in one meeting,” the chairman of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) Vinod Rai told Sportstar.

Mr. Johri was told by the ICC chairman Shashank Manohar that it was beyond them to take a decision to bar any particular nation. Such decisions, the BCCI was told, were in the hands of the respective governments and not the ICC. Since Pakistan was a permanent member of the ICC, it would not be possible to “isolate” it.

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Mr. Rai added, “India has been raising the issue of terror emanating from Pakistan at various international forums for a long time. Most Test nations don't even travel to play cricket in Pakistan for this very reason. As far as BCCI is concerned, we will keep raising the issue at every ICC meeting and every possible forum to demand Pakistan's isolation from cricket.”

One of the demands made by the BCCI related to security issues at the World Cup to be held in England later this year. The ICC CEO David Richardson assured the BCCI, “As you would expect for a global sporting event, the ICC, in partnership with the ECB (England cricket Board) has a robust security plan in place for the World Cup. We work closely with the authorities in our host countries to ensure that the safety of players, officials and fans is a priority. Should those authorities raise the threat level of the event based on intelligence, we will of course uplift our security commitment as appropriate. We will continue to work with the ECB and our Members throughout the build up to and during the tournament to keep everyone abreast of the situation.”

On the issue of playing against Pakistan at the World Cup, Mr. Rai said, “The match is sometime away. Why should we concede two points by not playing the match. We would follow what the government says in this matter.”