Tuesday May 24, 2022

Mani reveals why India reluctant to hold bilateral series

January 21, 2019

Abdul Mohi Shah

ISLAMABAD: There are two jokers in the pack in Indian cricket that has kept the uncertainty alive for the revival of bilateral series with Pakistan, claimed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani during an exclusive interview with The News the other day.

Mani, who worked as the chairman ICC said he always had enjoyed good cricketing relations with Board of Cricket in India (BCCI) and with all those who served in different capacities at all levels.

“When it comes to reviving bilateral cricketing relations between the two countries, there comes two jokers in the pack. This uncertain situation is because of two reasons. India is about to undergo general elections in the first half of the year and secondly their Supreme Court has already taken over the reins of BCCI with the purpose to oversee free and fair elections in the Board within next few months.”

The PCB chairman said Supreme Court has already barred all those former BCCI officials from contesting elections who have already served three terms in office. “So obviously there would fresh faces in Indian cricket in days to come. No one knows who would be those. So engaging current committee that looks after Indian cricket at this point would fetch no results. No one can predict as yet as which party is going to win Indian elections. Let’s wait for the India general elections as well as BCCI elections before starting negotiations on the revival of cricketing relations between the two countries. Till then it is all uncertainty. So we cannot expect any bilateral series between the two countries in near future.”

Regarding possibility of Australia cricket team tour to Pakistan around the Pakistan Super League (PSL) for couple of one-dayers, Ehsan Mani said the PCB was busy winning Cricket Australia’s (CA) trust for such a tour. “Obviously CA is reluctant to send their national team. As a cricket administrative I would also consider all elements before inviting any team. Things are improving and forthcoming PSL matches in Pakistan would be an ideal opportunity for all to judge the playing environment in the country. CA will be closely monitoring security in these matches before making their next move. PSL is a big measure event. If PSL matches go ahead smoothly, confidence level of foreign boards would go high. We cannot force any board to send team to Pakistan.”

To a question on the fate of national game hockey following his recent recommendations as a Task Force head, Ehsan Mani said sports federations including hockey require professional set up. “Look sports federations in Pakistan including hockey have got no professional set up. Is there a CEO in any sports federation, any financial head. Is here any development officer?”

Ehsan Mani believed in professional handling of hockey as well as other leading sports. “There is no wisdom in elevating former hockey players to the post of administrator. You need a professional to interact within and outside the country and with people who really matter. There is no Master Plan with any federation. You need skillful and professional official for each department.”

The PCB chairman said that over the year the government had spent million and millions of rupees in hockey. “All has gone down the drain. No one knows where the money has gone and what Pakistan hockey has achieved. If you spend money somewhere you should be knowing it as what are the gains. What you are to achieve from this investment.”

Ehsan Mani believed that Pakistan sports including hockey could take off provided professional and competent people get a chance to run affairs.