Manohar’s visit to Pak­istan will help re­vive in­ter­na­tional cricket: Mani

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

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.

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