KARACHI (Monitoring Desk): Ehsan Mani, former president of the International Cricket Council, has demanded equal distribution of international cricket among all top members of the ICC.
Speaking to media in Karachi, Mani said that it would be unfair if one team gets only 5 Test matches in a year and other team gets 15 matches in 12 months.
“If there’s no even distribution of cricket among countries, then it will be very damaging,” Mani told reporters in Karachi.
“Previously, it was up to the ICC to decide the tour program for countries, making teams play home and away series against everyone during the four-year cycle; the program is now being eliminated,” he added.
Mani, who remained ICC’s president from 2003 to 2006, feared that uneven cricket cycle will damage the game in countries like Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka and even New Zealand.
“Now countries like West Indies, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and even New Zealand and Sri Lanka aren’t getting the number of cricket matches that they should have been playing. Lesser cricket will dent players’ growth in these countries. If Pakistan is playing hardly 5 Tests in Pakistan and India is playing 15 Tests, then it is unfair,” he said.
The former ICC president agreed with the impression that the ICC is under India’s influence because members always accommodate India due to its money power.
“Indian influence in ICC has grown to a much larger extent over the last few years; this wasn’t the case a decade ago,” he said.
“Ten countries matter in the ICC and they’re accommodating India due to its money power. They must realise that game is bigger than any individual, this attitude is damaging the game of cricket. If they keep talking about money then Indian influence will grow and cricket will be damaged,” Mani said.
He refrained from commenting on Pakistan’s legal battle against BCCI over not playing a bilateral series, but feared that the fight will further worsen bilateral cricketing ties between the two cricket boards.
The former ICC president also criticised Pakistan Cricket Board for not building relationship with other boards and termed this attitude as one of the reasons for Pakistan’s lost position in the international cricket community.
“International cricket needs diplomacy, you need to talk and build relationship with all the cricket boards. I was in UAE recently during Pakistan v Sri Lanka series and there was hardly anyone from the PCB to entertain Sri Lankan officials,” he said.
“Home series are always an opportunity to build board-to-board relationship, but that’s not happening now,” Mani added.
Replying to a question, he remarked that for betterment of Pakistan cricket, there’s a dire need of brining professional administration in the PCB.
“Everywhere in the world, cricket is being administrated by professional administrators. We need the same in Pakistan; we need professional officials and employees in the PCB. Without that, our cricket cannot be professionalised,” he maintained.
The former president of ICC added that the mushroom growth of leagues is not good for the international cricket, especially Test cricket.
“There’s a need to have balance between international cricket and league cricket. The ICC should not let leagues affect international cricket otherwise it will damage Test cricket,” he concluded.