The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has taken strong notice of Indian cricket team wearing army camouflage caps during the 3rd ODI against Australia in Ranchi.
The Pakistan board members has contacted International Cricket Council (ICC), urging them to take strict action against BCCI and the Indian players.
Caps were distributed amongst the players by the honorary lieutenant and former Indian captain, MS Dhoni.
It is understood that BCCI took up the matter with ICC and getting permission before going ahead with this but PCB has intervened as asked the governing body to reassess its decision as it does not comply with the rules and regulations.
This move was initiated as a way to pay tribute to the lives lost in the Pulwama attack and has caused a lot of controversy between Pakistan and India. Such political matters should be kept away from the game, a PCB official said.
Talking to media in Karachi, the chairman of PCB, Ehsan Mani said:
We have strongly taken up the matter with the ICC. There is absolutely no misunderstanding in the ICC about our position. We believe that cricket and sports should not be used for politics and we have said this very clearly. Their [India] credibility in the cricketing world has gone down very badly.
There should not be any ambiguity as we are taking this very strongly. We don’t do politics, neither we do we use cricket for politics.
Previous Decisions Made by ICC
In the past, ICC has taken strict action against players who had brought a political agenda with them on to the pitch, which makes their decision to allow Indian cricket team to wear these caps even more controversial and questionable.
- Moeen Ali – Wristbands for Gaza, Palestine
Moeen Ali, England’s all-rounder was banned in 2014 for entering the field of play wearing wristbands bearing the slogans “Save Gaza” and “Free Palestine” on the first two days of the third Test match against India.
The ECB defended the all-rounder and argued that Moeen’s actions were in support of humanity but the match officials still charged him.
- Imran Tahir – Paying Tribute to Junaid Jamshed
In a match against Sri Lanka in early 2017, Imran Tahir dismissed Asela Gunarantne and was penalized for his celebrations.
After taking the wicket, Imran ran 20-yards as he normally does before taking off his playing kit and revealing a t-shirt with an image of the late Junaid Jamshed, who died in a plane crash earlier.
These two instances were brought up by Ehsan Mani to call out the hypocrisy and inconsistent decision making. He claimed that India has often gotten away with a lot of controversial decisions in the past but this time, things will be different because PCB will make sure to pursue this case.
You have two examples from the past already, where both Imran Tahir and Moeen Ali were sanctioned for something similar. The ICC had taken strong action against them and we have sought similar action against India. The permission they took was for a different purpose but they acted differently.
We have been in touch with ICC from day one, sent one letter already and another is being followed up in next 12 hours. There should not be any ambiguity as we are taking this very strongly. We don’t do politics, neither we do we use cricket for politics.
The Federal Minister of Pakistan, Fawad Chadhary, also intervened in the matter and claimed that India is ‘politicizing the gentleman’s game.” He tweeted:
“It’s just not Cricket”, I hope ICC ll take action for politicising Gentleman’s game … if Indian Cricket team ll not be stopped, Pak Cricket team should wear black bands to remind The World about Indian atrocities in Kashmir… I urge #PCB to lodge formal protest pic.twitter.com/GoCHM9aQqm
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) March 8, 2019
It remains to be seen how ICC will cope with the pressure from PCB and realize its own mistake to approve BCCI’s request for the army caps.