The BCCI’s actions are “malicious and motivated by greed”, said a Pakistani daily on Wednesday. It asked authorities in the Pakistan Cricket Board to “resist this dishonest blackmail by the Indian board”.
An editorial “Malice from the BCCI” in The Nation said that India’s refusal to play a cricket series against Pakistan in United Arab Emirates is “a breach of contract, plain and simple”.
Under the Future Tours Program (FTP) by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the number and frequency of matches, both home and away, has been determined for a period of 10 years.
India is “a pioneer of the FTP, and for it to dishonour the agreement it signed is highly disreputable. The disrepute multiples when even a cursory examination of events makes it clear that the Board of Control of Cricket in India’s (BCCI) actions are malicious and motivated by greed”, said the daily.
It said that security has been the bane of India-Pakistan cricket.
“The escalated tensions between Pakistan and India had already made the possibility of a cricket series between the two unlikely – series have been called off before and will probably be called off in the future too.
“Yet neither security, nor bilateral relations seem to be a factor. The BCCI has proposed an alternative series only limited over cricket, to be played in India – apparently bilateral relations are not a problem if the series is played in India.”
The daily said that the UAE is a neutral venue which hosts international cricket on a regular basis.
“In fact, if there are any security threats they lie in India. Violent crimes against Muslims are on the rise, Shiv Sena is on a rampage, attacking Pakistanis and targeting Pakistan cricket in particular; so much so that India has had to assure Pakistan that matches from the proposed series will be played in venues away from the danger,” it added.
The editorial noted that with its arguments “so clearly flawed the reasons must lie somewhere else”.
“A series on Indian soil will bring revenue to India, it holds the broadcasting rights, the ticket sales the advertising choices – in UAE these go to Pakistan. Money is clearly on the BCCI’s mind, since it has offered to share some of the revenue to sweeten the deal,” it said.
“PCB chairman and the Pakistani government are doing well to resist this dishonest blackmail by the Indian board. They must stick to their guns, plead their case before the ICC, and if need be, take BCCI to court for breach of contract,” the daily added.