Kirmani: Okay to play Pak., but BCCI must respect Govt.

India and Pakistan were supposed to play a bilateral series this month but it did not go ahead after the Indian government withheld its permission. Kirmani said despite being an autonomous body, the BCCI should respect the government’s stand.

Syed Kirmani recently received the Col. C. K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award.   -  C. V. Surahmanyam

Former India wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani said that it is fine to resume cricketing ties between India and Pakistan but the BCCI has to respect whatever the Indian government decides depending on the political scenario between the two countries.

India and Pakistan were supposed to play a bilateral series this month but it did not go ahead after the Indian government withheld its permission.

Kirmani said despite being an autonomous body, the BCCI should respect the government’s stand.

“According to me, there is nothing wrong playing against Pakistan, but looking into the political scenario, the ICC and BCCI wouldn’t like to go against the government as well. They are autonomous bodies but we have got to respect what the government says,” he told PTI.

BCCI is awaiting the Indian government’s permission for playing against Pakistan. The BCCI and the PCB had signed an MoU last year under which the two countries agreed to play a total of six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023.

India has not played a full bilateral Test series with Pakistan since the terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008.

Nevertheless, Kirmani said he is looking forward to improved political relationship between India and Pakistan.

“I am looking forward that the relationships at the political front eases off between the two neighbours. I don’t understand why there must be conflict between the two neighbours? ‘love thy neighbours’, so why do you want to fight against one another? What for? What do you want?” he asked.

If the series comes through, Kirmani said it would be sold-out affair. “We always enjoy playing against Pakistan, and if the series comes through, nothing like it. It builds more interest in spectators and lovers of the game,” he said.

On day-night Tests, he said: “When you can play day-night one-day internationals, why not day-night Test matches? See how it goes about. People will have more time to watch the matches after they close their businesses and offices, so it makes a good business sense as well.”

On Jeff Crowe’s rating the Nagpur pitch ‘poor’, Kirmani said: “What Jeff Crowe has said I will not accept that because what happened in England? Australia were bundled out for 60 runs. What would you say for that? On what conditions and what pitches in England? Stuart Broad took eight wickets for 15 runs, I think it is a marvellous performance. Why not talk about it. Why talk about poor tracks… These things happen.

It is part and parcel of the game”