PCB Chief Ehsan Mani bats for keeping political differences separate from Indo - Pak cricket

India and Pakistan are expected to play the Asia Cup 2018 final on September 28.

Captains from respective teams addressing the press conference.(Getty)

Newly appointed PCB Chief Ehsan Mani is keen on restarting bilateral series between the arch-rivals and keep political tensions separate from the game of cricket. 

"When an India-Pakistan match is played, over a 100 billion people watch the game from all over the world. No one cares about the politics. The main thing is to get the cricket going and this is a main thing in that direction. I am very hopeful the Board will work towards it. Am not saying we will get results on day one but we will work towards the common goal. The Board's endeavour should be for cricket, not anything else."

"Cricket boards have to work towards playing cricket, [we] don't want to get into politics, that's what we're talking with our Indian counterparts. There's some bridge-building to do, hopefully we will be able to make some ground because the relations haven't been great."

"What politicians talk, we shouldn't get into that. Our concentration should be on keeping the dialogue between the two boards going. I was in a similar situation when the Kargil incident [in 1999] happened. I was involved with the ICC and we never left our dialogue. We understood that in those circumstances, playing cricket was tough. But our full effort was to quickly bring the relationship between the two countries on a track where there can be cricket between the two. If there's politics in cricket, then cricket will be used as a tool for politics, which is wrong," he added.

Mani revealed that he has had discussions with BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary in Dubai during the ongoing Asia Cup. "I have already had a very constructive discussion with my colleagues from India who are here. We'll have a lot of common ground going forward. We all understand whatever has happened in the past has happened; we have to move forward. At the end of the day, the game is bigger than any one person, it's bigger than the politicians. It reaches out across global spectrum."  

The keenness from the PCB Chairman to get conversations regarding the resumption of the cricketing rivalries comes just  a week before the officials facing off at an ICC dispute-resolution panel in Dubai. The panel will hear PCB's claim for a compensation of USD 70 million from BCCI for their failure to honour the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which they signed in 2014. According to this MoU, BCCI had agreed to play six bilateral series against Pakistan between 2015 and 2023, but have already failed to play two away tours.

The ICC tribunal will be held in Dubai between October 1 and 3 with both the countries potentially getting ready to face off for the third time in the Asia Cup, this time for the trophy on September 28. 

(Inputs from Cricbuzz)


By Anshuman Roy - 24 Sep, 2018

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