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|Battle over Missed Opportunities - PCB-ICC come Face to Face|
|Pitched By Cricket360 Investigator|
|Friday, 15 May 2009|
While ICC thinks PCB may not have a solid case, PCB sticks to its stand of challenging the ICC in court. Meanwhile Ehsan Mani, former ICC president, thrashes India for causing split in Asian block that accounted for the ouster of Pakistan from host list for the 2011 World Cup.
Ehsan Mani, former ICC president, and brain behind PCB’s latest legal move against ICC, holds that Pakistan could have continued as host for the 2011 World Cup, had India acted in a friendlier manner. He accused India of foul play for stripping Pakistan off its hosting rights for the 2011 World Cup by sparking off a split in Asian block, which she could have prevented, if she wished. It was further aggravated by ICC’s inert approach and apathy for finding an alternative solution. And Pakistan cricket board was left with no other option than moving the court.
“This was a time when India should have come forward, shown leadership and said 'It's all four of us as hosts, or none of us,” said Mani, who is believed to be the man to encourage PCB to walk the path of legal war. “Asia got worried they would lose the 2011 World Cup altogether and decided to dump Pakistan. It is the first time in my 20 years association that I have seen Asia split this way. It speaks volumes of the PCB's PR perhaps,” Mani said. He also criticized ICC for its lack of initiative in finding out any alternative solution.
"Many things were wrong. The ICC should have done an assessment of all four countries and gotten governments involved. Also, if Pakistan gets the Champions Trophy hosting fee even if that event was taken away, why does the same logic not apply for the World Cup,” argues Mani on PCB’s behalf.
Mani suggested a swapping of the World Cups of 2011 and 2015, so that Australia and New Zealand are assigned the hosting of the 2011 world cup, while the subcontinent hosts the 2015 edition. But nothing could be worked out in the line of his suggestion.
Mani however maintains that despite its legal battle against ICC, PCB should keep the doors of communication open with the ICC. “Ties between the two are not great. What I've advised them is to keep the legal process on but along with a high-level diplomatic process. Keep that channel open.”
Even the staunchest supporter of Pakistan knows deep down his heart, that Pakistan is sitting over a volcano and going for such a big ticket event as cricket World Cup may prove suicidal for PCB. Still why does it fight for a lost battle? The line of argument adopted by PCB is: security issues were discussed in the ICC meeting without any prior notification and that left the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt off guard. If PCB counsel can prove this as true, then ICC will have to eat the dirt.
The ICC on the other hand dismissed the allegations and sought to clarify “factual inaccuracies and misunderstandings” in the PCB's claim. An ICC statement pointed out that the ICC had not decided, at its meeting on April 17, to remove the PCB as a co-host of the event but only that the matches assigned to the PCB should be played outside Pakistan.
ICC chief Lorgat, who expressed his disappointment because PCB has chosen the legal option instead of open communication, maintained, “We hope it realizes that by attempting to pursue the matter through legal channels, it will result in the diversion of funds and resources better served to ensure a safe, secure and successful tournament in 2011, something that will benefit all our members, including Pakistan.”
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