ICC not to interfere in modalities related to bilateral cricket

The decision, taken during ICC’s Annual Conference in London, could prove to be handy for the BCCI.

India and Pakistan haven’t played a bilateral series since 2012-13.   -  Reuters

The International Cricket Council (ICC) will not interfere in modalities related to bilateral agreement involving two cricketing nations. The decision, taken during ICC’s Annual Conference in London, could prove to be handy for the BCCI which has constantly been nudged by the Pakistan Cricket Board for not honouring a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2014.

The BCCI will now also be a part of the governance group, and more importantly, the ICC’s Strategic Working group, which takes decisions on important commerce and finance related issues.

ICC’s decision on bilateral cricket may help the BCCI deal with its Pakistan counterpart “more firmly” on series related issues. According to ICC’s amended constitution, the member nations will have full right to decide on bilateral series, itinerary and every other subsidiary details.

‘Our call’

“We can now decide whether we want to play Pakistan or not. If we don’t want to play Pakistan in a bilateral series, no one can force us and neither will ICC interfere in any form. Therefore, it will now be our call,” a top BCCI source told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

Bilateral series with Pakistan has been a sensitive issue due to prevailing political tension between the two nations. The Indian team can play Pakistan in ICC events only and not in bilateral series, as it will require permission from the central government which is firm to prevent it.

The BCCI has also earned another “mini victory” as its demand of ICC having “neutral people” in its grievance redressal forum has been met. “Normally, it constitutes of representatives of member boards which deals with grievance related issues. We wanted that all members in the redressal forum should be neutral. That has been accepted by the ICC. This will also help us as PCB had always tried to use this forum whenever we have cited genuine impediments on having an India-Pakistan bilateral series,” the source said.