Pakistan’s cricket chiefs have raised serious objections about the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) controversial decision to split points of a Pakistan-India series which was part of the ICC Women’s Championship despite the fact India flatly refused to feature in the contest.
Previously in 2017, in what was exactly a similar situation, the ICC had awarded full victory points to Pakistan after the Indians refused to play the series which was part of the last edition of the ICC Women’s Championship.
Well-placed sources revealed that Wednesday’s announcement by the ICC has irked Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chiefs not just because it deprives Pakistan women’s team of full points, like they received in the past.
A bigger cause of concern for PCB is the 2021 ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup which is supposed to be hosted by India during October-November next year. According to sources, PCB officials fear that the decision by the ICC could pave the path for Pakistan’s exclusion from the T20 World Cup.
Their fears stem from the fact that in its Wednesday’s announcement, ICC has revealed that it has decided to split the points between Pakistan and India because it sees the series cancellation as a ‘Force Majeure event’.
“The ICC Women’s Championship Technical Committee (TC) had decided that teams will share points in all three series in the ICC Women’s Championship that did not take place during the competition window,” the ICC statement had said.
The India-Pakistan series was originally scheduled in the sixth round of the competition, between July and November 2019, but despite the best efforts of both the boards, it was unable to take place.
Sources said that the PCB is now worried that the Indian cricket board (BCCI) could use the same excuse to keep Pakistan out of next year’s T20 World Cup.
“PCB officials are still studying the ICC verdict (about the Women’s Championship),” a source said.
“But their initial reading is that unlike the past, BCCI has managed to convince ICC that keeping Pakistan out of cricket contests in India was something inevitable and it (BCCI) is not responsible for it.”
In recent years, the Indians have refused to host Pakistani teams in their backyard claiming that the Indian government doesn’t give them the go-ahead for it.
“The Indians refuse to issue visas to Pakistani players and officials. They could do the same for the (2021) T20 World Cup. That is why this is seen by the PCB as a dangerous precedent which could be used against Pakistan for future events like the T20 World Cup in India,” another source says.