Ehsan Mani has revealed that till date the India-Pakistan diplomatic relations come to a truce, he is not interested in requesting the BCCI to allow Pak players to play IPL. He has also added that there should be trust and openness from both sides in terms of dealing with cricket issues.
India has not toured Pakistan for almost 14 years, with Pakistan’s last visit to India for a bilateral series coming in 2012. Various factors, not least political, contributed to both sides ending their relations, and even though after India signed an MoU with Pakistan at the time of the Big Three take over, it landed in a fool’s world.
Pakistan has continued to pursue the bilateral series over the years but to no avail, with the ICC’s dispute resolution committee giving verdict in India’s favour. Ehsan Mani stated that there should be a trust factor involved in dealing such stuff and blamed it on the Indian cricket administration over the last 12 years for the same
"I am not talking to the BCCI about bilateral cricket. It is up to them to speak to us if they have something to say. The ICC (International Cricket Council) constitution says there should be no government interference. So, I think ICC should be talking to them [BCCI]," Mani, a former ICC president, said, referring to the mandatory permission that BCCI has to take from the Indian government to play against Pakistan,” Mani told IANS.
"I had enough discussions with Mr Dalmiya; not just him but with Mr Sharad Pawar and going back to the time of Mr Madhavrao Scindia. We have had very, very good and open relations with the BCCI. Over the last 12 years, I find the relationship is not what it used to be. There has to be trust and openness on both sides -- and honesty in dealing with each other.
"To find that the relationship was not what it used to be, I was surprised and disappointed when I came back (as PCB chairman in August 2018). A lot of improvement can be done on this. We could talk to anybody (in normal times), but it takes two hands to clap," Mani added.
When asked if he is looking at a future in which Pakistani players will be allowed to play in the Indian Premier League, Mani said till the date the bilateral diplomatic relations are solved, it is not possible.
"Over the years, the PCB has had a number of discussions with the BCCI regarding bilateral cricket. Whether it is T20 cricket or bilateral, all things are in the hands of the BCCI. At this moment I don't have any intention of playing any T20 league with India. First, they have to sort out the bilateral (political) relations with us, and then we'll talk," Mani added.
The Indian Premier League has moved to the United Arab Emirates after a huge spike in Coronavirus cases in India, which made it impossible to host the mega event in the country. As a matter of fact, after the players moved to UAE, they served a six-day Quarantine but a Covid break-out inside the CSK camp sent shockwaves among many players, with Suresh Raina pulling out due to the same reason. Mani feels that BCCI should have Quarantined the players in India alone before flying down to UAE.
"I would have thought that every IPL team served self-isolation in India before going to the UAE and went into self-isolation there as well, so that they were sure that they did not slip. But I don't know what the BCCI has done and what the requirements are. I can't really comment on that.
"I can tell you that when we went to England recently, those who returned positive Covid results were not allowed to travel," Mani pointed out.