The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has sidestepped Narendra Modi's policy. In a way, that is. The Prime Minister-designate has invited Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in but the BCCI authorities have not seen too much merit in replicating the policy in their bilateral cricketing ties with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The board mandarins have left the officials of PCB out of the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The BCCI/IPL authorities have invited the heads of almost all cricket boards, including England and Wales Cricket Board, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa, but an invite has not been extended to the PCB president.
The PCB reins have been changing hands from Zaka Asraf to Najam Sethi frequently of late and that uncertainty over the leadership could have been a reason for BCCI's perceived disinterest. "Yes, we're inviting heads of most international boards and PCB is not one of them," Ranjib Biswal, chairman of the Governing Council told Mumbai Mirror.
The Pakistan side, however, was looking forward to visiting India during the IPL final, scheduled for June 1 in Bangalore. "I've got invites for the IPL final in the past and I'm hoping to get one this time as well. I'll surely want to visit India to meet the officials of the BCCI," Ashraf told the newspaper earlier.
He has since been removed as the head of the PCB by the apex Pakistan court, which reinstated Sethi as the board president. Sethi has not said anything openly but he apparently did not honour a BCCI invite for the IPL opener in Abu Dhabi last month.
Meanwhile, BCCI mandarins have confirmed that ECB's Giles Clarke, CA's James Sutherland and top officials of the International Cricket Council (ICC) besides the Sheikhs of the Emirates Cricket Board have been invited for the final. Officials from South Africa too should be there in Bangalore but a certain Haroon Lorgat is not welcome here. You know why.
Courtesy: Mumbai Mirror