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WATCH: 'Terrorism' Becomes 'certain Phenomena' As Top BCCI Boss Explains ICC's Refusal To Sever Ties With Pakistan; Sources Say Letter seeking Ban Was Watered Down

Written By Ankit Prasad | Mumbai | Published:

The BCCI is divided on the demand to ban Pakistan from the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup, top sources in the Cricket association have confirmed to Republic TV, a day after the ICC declined severing ties with countries from which "terrorism emanates".

BCCI Acting Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary addressed a news briefing on Monday morning over the ICC's decision, where he tried to reiterate what the ICC had said - i.e. that it wasn't in its domain to ban countries and that it was up to governments to do this. However, his choice of words indicated that the BCCI hadn't pressed its case. While in the letter the BCCI hadn't mentioned Pakistan by name, in his briefing, Chaudhary didn't even mention terrorism, choosing to describe it as "certain phenomena".

Speaking to Republic TV, top BCCI sources said that key members of the body were kept out of the meeting to discuss Pakistan in the context of the 2019 World Cup - India and Pakistan play at Manchester on June 16 - and opined that the letter to the ICC wasn't specific enough.

Calling it a mistake to not name Pakistan, the sources claimed that the letter had been watered down.

On Sunday, the ICC had decided at its board meeting chaired by Shashank Manohar that it wasn't in its purview to sever ties with any countries:

"There was no chance that anything like that would have happened. The ICC chairman made it clear that the decision to ostracize a nation is taken at the government level and ICC had no rule. The BCCI knew it all along but still took a chance," a BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

The BCCI had been represented at the meeting by Amitabh Chaudhary. Here is the letter the BCCI had written:

Dear Sirs,

This communication is being addressed to voice the BCCI's concerns and sentiments that have emerged after the recent dastardly terrorist attack which was carried out on Indian soil by a terror outfit based out of Pakistan which resulted in the death of 44 Indian security personnel. 

In view of the aforesaid terrorist attack, BCCI fears for the safety and security of players and match officials participating in upcoming ICC events including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. 

Most countries from which the members of the ICC hail (including United Kingdom) have strongly condemned this terrorist attack and expressed solidarity with India. BCCI urges the cricketing community to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates.

The BCCI also wishes to express its concerns over the safety and security of fans of Indian cricket at the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. 

The BCCI trusts that the ICC and ECB will ensure that the most robust security is provided to players, match officials and fans of Indian cricket for the upcoming World Cup. The BCCI reserves all its rights and entitlements in this regard.

This communication is being issued for and on behalf of the BCCI by the Committee of Administrators for the BCCI appointed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India.


Rahul Johri. 

The letter was issued after the dastardly Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF Jawans were martyred, though the meeting took place after both countries had engaged in at least two offensives - India's against Pakistan's terror bases and Pakistan against India's military installations - involving large-scale scrambling of fighter jets.

The BCCI's Committee of Administrators (CoA) had also chosen to bide time over taking a decision on the India-Pak match at the World Cup, with CoA chief Vinod Rai opining that there was enough time before the fixture that a decision needn't be taken at this stage.