Mumbai: Pakistan Cricket Community was shocked to hear the statements made by BCCI Chief, Anurag Thakur, on Friday. It claimed that even when ties between the two countries were better India always avoided playing Pakistan in a bilateral series.
The Pakistan Cricket Board avoided giving out any official statement but the top officials came in front of the media and spoke about BCCI President, Anurag Thakur’s statement.
Former Captain, Muhammad Yousuf said, “I just don’t understand what he wants to say. For the last eight years India has avoided playing us in a proper bilateral series even when relations were better.”
He further added on, “It is an out and out political statement from the President of the BCCI. We are disappointed as we have been trying hard for a long time now to normalize cricket ties with India and we have always believed in keeping sports and politics apart.”
Yousuf, adamant on the fact that the International Cricket Council should take notice of Thakur’s statement, said, “The ICC keeps on saying it will not tolerate politics or government interference in member boards and the BCCI President is making political statements. Either he should speak as a BJP leader or as a BCCI head.”
The former captain also claimed that whenever Pakistan played in India, the people had enjoyed the matches but unfortunately now there were no Indo-Pak series.
Another former captain, Rashid Latif said to the media that Thakur’s statements were weightless as already India had made it clear it didn’t want to play against Pakistan on many instances before.
“The last time we went to India in 2012 as a goodwill gesture for a short series of one-day and T20 matches but since 2007 the Indian board has avoided playing us at a bilateral level in a full series,” he brought in front of Media.
Latif also stated that at least the PCB knows where it stands as far as relations with BCCI is concerned.
Former Test leg-spinner, Abdul Qadir said Pakistan has always tried to keep politics out of cricket with India but that is not the the case with BCCI anymore.
He stated, “They have not played us for so many years so what value is this statement off. I believe that the PCB should seriously think about playing India in the group matches of any ICC event.”
Qadir siad that the ICC has always earned millions of dollars by scheduling India and Pakistan match in the group stage of an ICC event and the same has been done for next year’s Champions Trophy too.
He further added, “It is time we stopped running after India and said thank you to them.”
According PCB, BCCI had backed out of a women’s bilateral series with Pakistan in the UAE saying that it had not got clearance from its government to play the series.
Former Test batsman, Mohsin Khan stating that cricket and politics should not be mixed, said, “I just feel that Anurag Thakur should not give political statements in his capacity as BCCI President.”