Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad has staunchly criticised the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for their rigid stance on not touring Pakistan for the 2023 Asia Cup.
“India can go to hell if they don’t want to come to Pakistan to play cricket,” the 65-year-old said at a recent public event. “I’ve always backed Pakistan. And you know that I don’t leave spare India whenever an issue arises. But the thing is we need to look at our part. And we should fight for it. We don’t care because we are getting to host our cricket. This is ICC’s job. If ICC can’t control this there’s no use of the governing body. They need to implement similar rules for every team. If teams like these don’t come, they should be debarred. India hoga, apne liye hoga. Hmare liye nahi hai.“
Following the Asian Cricket Council week last meet, the BCCI made their stand clear on the Indian team not travelling to Pakistan to play the upcoming Asia Cup. The reason behind being that it won’t get ‘clearance from the Indian government’ to travel to Pakistan to play cricket owing to the diplomatic tensions between the two.
Miandad however, feels that India not coming to play in Pakistan is owing to their fear of losing to the latter in their country.
He said, “Come and play. Why don’t they? They run. For them it becomes a trouble if they come here and lose to us. The public there can’t stomach it. It’s always been the case. During our time, they used to not play because of the same reason. Riots and fighting take place there. The crowd there is very nasty. You would’ve seen whenever India loses, to anyone, the crowd there burns down houses. When we used to play, they had faced such troubles.”
“They are bet losers. The public there need to understand. Cricket is a sport. If you don’t play well, you deserve to lose. If I play well, I deserve to win. Rather you go into other things. What good is that for? I say this to the ICC, if anyone does resort to such ways, ICC need to be strict. If you’re India, so what? If any country behaves this way, ICC need to take action. Such teams should be removed and they’ll learn the lesson then.”
The Pakistan Cricket Board has been keen on hosting the 2023 ODI format Asia Cup and has pointed to international teams touring the country to assure players of safety concerns following a decade long hiatus owing to terrorist attacks during the Sri Lanka tour of Pakistan. Teams like England, New Zealand and Australia have toured the country over the last year and played Test cricket. PCB wants cricketing ties with the Indian team to resume like earlier, however, the BCCI seems to be reluctant to travel to Pakistan.
It is owing to BCCI’s stand that the tournament is likely to be shifted from Pakistan to elsewhere with PCB still retaining the rights to host the tournament as Sri Lanka did in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last year following unrest in the country due to economic crises.