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ICC turns down BCCI’s request to end ties with countries, harbouring terrorism

The BCCI had also expressed its concerns over the security of the fans and the players during the World Cup.

David Richardson
David Richardson(Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

India’s hopes of seeing other nations severing ties with a nation that harbours terrorism seemed to have failed as the ICC has reportedly turned down the proposal. In the wake of the Pulwama attack that claimed the lives of 44 CRPF personnel, there were widespread calls to boycott Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup. The ghastly attack was carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based militant group.

The BCCI had then written a letter to the ICC, expressing its hopes of seeing the other nations break ties with countries from where terror emanates.  The BCCI had not mentioned Pakistan in their letter but it was very well implied. The letter was sent on February 22 by  BCCI CEO Rahul Johri. He had mentioned that the letter was being sent at the behest of the three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) and the supervisory authority of the BCCI.

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Severing cricketing ties with nations not our domain: ICC tells BCCI

The ICC has turned down the BCCI’s request to sever ties with countries from which “terrorism emanates”, saying it’s not their domain. According to media reports, the governing body of the game was not the appropriate forum to take such decisions. As per ESPNcricinfo, Shashank Manohar, the ICC president, brought up the matter towards the end of the quarterly Board meeting on Saturday before stating that it would not be possible to follow that proposal. The report claimed that Manohar had himself brought up the matter while the BCCI officials did not. Manohar further made it clear that the body’s primary task is concerned with cricket, thus clearly distancing the ICC with the political turmoil.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials, who were reportedly annoyed with the letter, did not raise any objection either. However, Ehsan Mani, chief of PCB, did seek clarity over the issuance of visas to Pakistan players during the 2020 World T20 and the 2023 World Cup. India are scheduled to host both the tournaments. In reply, Manohar told Mani that as per the norm it was the tournament host’s obligation to secure the visas for all visiting teams and match officials.

ICC on BCCI’s security concerns

The BCCI had also expressed its concerns over the security of the fans and the players during the World Cup in the aftermath of the attack. The ICC has now assured the Indian board that security of all the stakeholders is of ‘paramount’ importance for the governing body.

“As you would expect for a global sporting event, the ICC, in partnership with the ECB has a robust security plan in place for the Men’s Cricket World Cup,” ICC CEO David Richardson said. “We work closely with the authorities in our host countries to ensure that the safety of players, officials and fans is a priority.”

“Should those authorities raise the threat level of the event based on intelligence, we will of course uplift our security commitment as appropriate. We will continue to work with the ECB and our members throughout the build-up to and during the tournament to keep everyone abreast of the situation,” he added.

India and Pakistan are scheduled to take on each other in the World Cup on June 16 in Manchester.

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