Former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Najam Sethi, recently made a statement on the ongoing tensions between the Indian and Pakistani cricket boards. Speaking to reporters, Sethi stated that if the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refused to play matches in Pakistan, the Pakistani government would not allow the national team to play in India either.
Najam Sethi commented on BCCI-PCB tension
Sethi’s comments came after the BCCI reportedly expressed its reluctance to send its team to Pakistan for the upcoming Asia Cup in 2023. The former PCB chairman criticized the BCCI for not honoring the memorandum of understanding signed between the two boards in 2014, which was supposed to pave the way for a bilateral cricket series between the two countries.
“If BCCI refuses to play in Pakistan, we will not allow our team to go to India,” Sethi said, adding that both boards needed to respect the agreements they had signed.
Sethi also expressed his frustration with the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) inability to resolve the issue between the two boards. He stated that the ICC should take a more active role in the matter and work towards resolving the conflict.
Sethi’s comments have once again reignited the debate over the resumption of cricketing ties between the two countries. The last time the Indian cricket team visited Pakistan was in 2006, and since then, bilateral series between the two nations have been few and far between. The two sides have only faced each other in major ICC tournaments, such as the World Cup and the Champions Trophy.
The tension between the two countries has spilled over into the cricketing arena, with the BCCI and the PCB engaging in a war of words over the years. The 2019 Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir further strained relations between the two nations, with the BCCI refusing to play any matches against Pakistan.
The PCB has repeatedly called for the resumption of cricketing ties between the two countries, with former cricketers and fans on both sides of the border also expressing their desire for the two sides to play each other more often.
However, with the current political climate and the strained relations between the two nations, it seems unlikely that any progress will be made towards resuming bilateral cricketing ties anytime soon. As Sethi’s comments suggest, the issue has become highly politicized, and it will take a significant shift in political relations between the two nations for cricketing ties to resume.