Manohar’s visit to Pakistan will help revive international cricket: Mani
MUMBAI—Former ICC president Ehsan Mani from Pakistan gave a thumbs-up to the coronation of Shashank Manohar as the world body’s independent chairman on Thursday, but also pointed out that the road ahead will be ‘full of challenges’ for the ex-BCCI chief. “Look, I don’t know him personally, but he’s been making the right noises so far. However, there’s a long way to go. Presently, world cricket faces some very serious challenges. I am hopeful Manohar is able to provide the right kind of strong leadership which the ICC needs currently,” Mani said.
Mani, who was the ICC president from 2002-06, said, “Manohar has to find a way to resume Indo-Pak cricket, which shouldn’t depend on the political climate of the two countries. He should insist that both have to honour their bilateral commitments.
“He must look to re-start international cricket in Pakistan. He can start on the right note if he himself visits the headquarters of the Pakistan Cricket Board in Lahore. It will send a strong signal that the ICC is convinced about resumption of cricket in Pakistan, which should of course be done after satisfying a security protocol.”
Elaborating on some of the issues that Manohar needs to resolve in his new role, Mani said: “Look at the situation of the game in the West Indies. Even leaders of the CARICOM (an organisation of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies) have said that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is dysfunctional, and isn’t run professionally. It’s high time that the ICC sits down with cricket officials there to attempt to solve the issues there, and provide it the necessary financial help to hire professionals in their Board and their team.
“He has to look at ways in which the ICC can help the associate nations in developing their cricket, including providing crucial funds to them.”
Mani also wants Manohar to put his foot down when it comes to the BCCI’s insistence on not using the Decision Review System (DRS).
“You can’t have two sets of rules in the game, where everybody is using DRS except India. The DRS has helped us achieve around 98 per cent accuracy in decision-making. I understand the BCCI has concerns about its accuracy, and there can be a healthy debate about it, but if at the end of it, if there is a feeling that it must be implemented universally, then India must fall in line,” the 71 year-old stressed.
The veteran administrator felt that the reforms introduced by Manohar, including distributing equal amount of money amongst all full members and associate nations in the ICC were aimed at restoring the world body’s structure before the trio of N Srinivasan (former ICC and BCCI chief), Giles Clarke (England and Wales Cricket Board chairman) and James Sutherland (Cricket Australia boss) changed it a couple of years ago.
“It is the ‘poor’ cricketing nations which need more money, as compared to the richer ones, like India. This is what the Woolf Committee had suggested, but its report wasn’t even discussed,” lamented Mani.
“The system of the ICC having an ‘independent’ president (who doesn’t hold any position in his own board) was always there, before Srinivasan altered it. I think all the directors of the Board in the ICC should be ‘independent’ too, like it is in Australia and New Zealand, where the board of directors don’t hold any post in their own association,” suggested Mani.
“As an ICC chief, you’ve to be fair. During my stint, I put in a system where all the countries would only get funds from the ICC once they showed their audited accounts. I even stopped Pakistan’s funding when the PCB failed to provide this,” he recalled.—Agencies
LAHORE: Players trying to hold the ball during practice session of U-17 hockey championship.