On Tuesday, PCB chairman Ehsan Mani expressed that there is a lot of “hypocrisy” going on in the BCCI that it lets India play Pakistan at ICC tournaments but ignores bilateral series. The BCCI has time and again said that it needs government clearance to play bilateral series.
A frustrated PCB has filed a compensation case of ₹447 crore with the Disputes Resolution Forum of ICC for not honoring a MoU which required the two nations to play six bilateral series from 2015-2023. The hearing in the case concluded earlier this month.
During an interview with ESPN Cricinfo, Mani said, “There is a lot of hypocrisy at the moment. India plays an ICC event against us but doesn’t play a bilateral series. That is something that we need to address.”
Mani stressed the resumption of bilateral cricketing relations is necessary as fans from both sides are eager to watch the two countries compete against each other.
PCB chairman explained, “The main thing is that we play cricket against each other. When we play cricket, especially in our countries – when we go to India or when they come here – helps in increasing people-to-people contact. Indian fans come to Pakistan. Lakhs of fans have come to Pakistan from India and everyone goes back happy. There’s no better way to improve the relations between countries than having sporting contacts, cultural contacts. For me, that is far more important than any amount of money that comes into the game.”
The Pakistan board has not been able to generate revenue as India has not been a part of its cricketing fixture for years now. The two countries last played a short limited-overs bilateral back in 2012. Talking about the same, Mani said that the Indo-Pak series had the “highest value financially in the world”, but he maintained that the PCB’s desire for the resumption of ties was about more than money.
When asked if Pakistan cricket could survive without bilaterals against India, he had a one-word answer: “forever.” Mani explained, “Money isn’t the issue, it’s more about the game. There are more viewers for an India-Pakistan match than any other match in the world. So, if the Indian government decides to deprive its own citizens of watching an India-Pakistan match then that is their choice.”