Newly elected PCB Chief Ehsan Mani in an exclusive interaction with Sportstar from Lahore has said that he is willing to better relations with BCCI and will do everything possible to ensure that both the nations resume cricketing ties between themselves.
In a series of questions which he answered to Sportstar Mani highlighted his thoughts on bettering the relations between the two sides.
Highlighting his role as the PCB Chairman Mani said " There is no doubt that we are very determined to get cricket back in Pakistan. It is equally important that we at least start working with the BCCI like the way we used to do in the past. Working closely to have cricketing relations and support each other. Over the years, that has got a bit different and that’s a bit sad. I hope we can reactivate the relations and work together. I know there are issues between India and Pakistan and one needs to understand it well. But these are early days."
He next spoke on the importance of Pakistan playing against India. "The India-Pakistan series is considered as iconic series and it’s good for cricket. If you speak to any former cricketer, they will say that India-Pakistan series is quite an experience. It is same for players across the borders. From that point of view, if India and Pakistan are playing, it will be fantastic. It will also help improve relationships between the two countries."
When asked about what would be his immediate step for the same. Mani said " I have no plans to visit India now, though I will meet the ICC chairman, Shashank Manohar, and the Indian officials during the ICC meeting. In the Asia Cup, I will try and meet the Indian officials. I really hope that we can have a discussion there."
He then kept his views on Pakistan's newly appointed PM Imran Khan. "Imran as a Prime Minister carries a lot of weight in Pakistan’s cricket. He is probably as popular in India as he is in Pakistan. He is an iconic person and he is well respected and highly regarded by the contemporaries in both India and Pakistan. That should help in developing relations between two countries. My own position towards the Indian board is very clear: we are there to work together, support each other, respect each other. If we can achieve this, then we can only be good not just in world cricket, but also in terms of relations between two countries."
Mani next spoke as to what the spectators gan out of ICC World Championships. "The Test championships were being discussed for a long, long time and one needs to give context to Test cricket. That’s something we were trying when I was at the Board at the ICC. I haven’t seen the details and have been a bit of touch about what’s been in world cricket, but there is no doubt that Test championship is the way forward. The main thing is that all the countries are playing each other."
Mani ended his interaction by keeping his viewpoints on his responsibilities to ensure more games between Asian countries and the PSL.
"In my time, we had an Asian Cricket Council, which was very strong with some great administrators from both India and Pakistan. They always wanted to play against each other for the sake of the game. We need to continue with that and I hope that both Boards will work in the common interest of the game."
On PSL he said as he concluded " The PSL is no different from [the Indian Premier League]. The Pakistan players, playing in the PSL, have huge public support. T20 has a different role as compared to Tests or one-dayers, but then people want to watch it. As an administrator, it is only right that we go ahead with it."