Ehsan Mani, the former President of the International Cricket Council (ICC), believes Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) decision to file a compensation claim against the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will deteriorate the current relations and impact future cricket relations between the two nations.
Notably, PCB had filed a compensation claim of $70 million against BCCI in front of ICC accusing India has not honoured the bilateral series agreement.
“I have concerns about the consequences of this case whatever its outcome. What I am concerned about is the effect it is going to have on cricket relations between the two countries in the long run,” Mani was heard saying to Geo Super Channel.
Mani further feels PCB did not consider all the aspects before claiming the compensation before ICC.
“I just think all avenues of talks, discussions and backdoor diplomacy were not explored by the PCB before going ahead with its compensation claim in the ICC. I would have waited and first exhausted all options of trying to get something out of India for them not playing bilateral ties with Pakistan before opting for the compensation claim option,” he stated.
However, the former President further mentioned there is no guarantee that India will pay the compensation even if Pakistan wins the claim.
“Say if Pakistan is successful in its compensation claim what happens if India holds back the money. Then Pakistan has to go to the ICC board, and it will not help relations between both countries,” Mani, who served ICC during 2003-2006 added.
Mani is of the opinion that PCB should have considered all the legal aspects before filing the compensation claim. Notably, as per ICC’s Constitution, no government interference is tolerated in any member board’s affairs.
“India says it is not getting government clearance to play Pakistan and that clause will then become important in this case. But overall I think there will be bad blood and feelings, and it will impact future cricket relations between the two,” he further mentioned.
However, Mani feels former BCCI President N Srinivasan had a major role to play for not resuming the bilateral series between the two neighboring countries.
“He was not good news when he was there at the helm of affairs. He was anti-Pakistan, and in his tenure all chances of India taking initiative to get government clearance to play regular bilateral cricket with Pakistan were non-existent,” Mani further stated.
However, Mani feels India had become a tough member to tackle in the ICC due to its stubbornness but felt that this was also because they were weak officials in the world body.
“India does contribute significantly to the ICC revenues, but I don’t buy this 70 percent talk. The bottom line is that ICC has failed itself by not exploring the markets of USA and China. Even today there just has to be the right moves made to make India realize that it can’t operate independently in world cricket,” Mani signed off.