14 May 2009

The Tantrum

Let me get this right for it is hard to believe – the Pakistan Cricket Board, supported by an ex-president of the ICC (who must at some point be the centre of a post on this blog!), and based on the advice of one of the world’s better law firms (posting about whom we will leave to John), has found the temerity to challenge the might of the ICC? That too in circumstances where India - the Golden Peacock of international cricket - as well as ALL other cricket boards, are siding with the ICC??

From whatever little is available (and though "we don’t know all the facts" – quote from aforesaid ICC president in context of ICC-PCB dispute), I understand that Pakistan is weeping bloody tears because the ICC has, UNANIMOUSLY, decided to cancel Pakistan’s name from the list of hosts, without giving Pakistan the opportunity ‘to be heard’? Big Papa has cut them out and since big brother is on Big Papa’s side, Pakistan has no option but legal recourse??

It’s a laugh –several laughs actually. Firstly, the Pakistan Cricket Board was present and ABSTAINED from voting on the resolution which cancelled their name!! Did they not understand what the resolution meant – or did everybody connive to such an extent as to make it impossible for the PCB to understand the consequences of not raising their voice. Doesn’t abstaining on a vote mean that you don’t care?? So you were in fact heard – atleast to the extent you wanted to be heard.

You were also heard when terrorists (if you have a secular mindset) / freedom fighters (for the religious fanatics that read this blog) decided to attack a defence less touring international cricket team in broad daylight in the centre of town. The world heard the gunshots that were fired, the grenades that were lobbed, the stories that each victim told, what their families felt and how helpless you were. Since the world at large heard all of that, do you in all your wisdom (?????), seriously believe, that any international side (and I mean ANY) will play in Pakistan?? It is for certain that New Zealand and Australia will not – neither will South Africa.

I for one refuse to believe that any human being, or a set of them, that has lived for 50 years on the average can be that stupid. So is it about the money? Will you withdraw your legal proceedings if the ICC agrees to pay you what you would have received had the tournament been played in Pakistan – are the coffers that empty?? If that’s what you want, then that’s what you should be asking for, instead of throwing a tantrum becoming only of a 4 year old that has not been given the ice cream it wants!

One last question – if the ICC wins before the CAS or in whatever proceeding you filed in Pakistan, how do you propose to pay DLA Piper?? Are they not out of your league – 1000 dollars an hour for partner level involvement is, after all, not to be sniffed at right?


Q said...

Don't believe the "coffers are empty" story.. the PCB is the richest organization in Pakistan and they have plenty of dollars to pay DLA Piper, whether they win or lose. That coffer is over flowing.

As for the case against the ICC. As Ive been discussing on Well Pitched and other forums as well, its more to do with the process and approach rather than the want to host international countries.

We know that no international team will come and play cricket in Pakistan after what happened to SL. And no one should either.

We at Well Pitched, the day the attacks happened, requested that the PCB itself withdraw from hosting the WC - just pointing it out to show you how we thing so u dont take the wrong msg from this reply.

Now all what we would have liked, we being the PCB and the Pakistanis, is for the ICC to have some dialogue with the PCB before deciding to strip Pak from hosting.

1) Talk to the PCB and ask them to step down.
2) If they disgaree try explaining to them that no one will tour, they need time to re-arrange the matches at a new venue, hence need to reach a decision.
3) Allow the PCB to defend themselves. Give them a period of time - maybe the situation will improve, maybe not. Give them a deadline after which u can make ur decision.

Thats all the PCB asked for.

John said...

How can one abstain from the voting process and then question it later? Abstention is a form of participation, after all.

Q said...

That I agree with John. I cant say much on that. I dont know why the PCB did that.

Maybe it was a way to show that the voting taking place was not right, since it was not on the agenda..

TM said...

Thanks Q.... I wish figures about a boards riches were publically available, but that is perhaps a debate for another post/forum. With all due respect, I am not sure if being the richest body in Pakistan means that it's coffers are flowing.

You may have a point in that they abstained because the 'process' was not right. But the ICC is not really the United Nations and this issue is not something that requires a lot of preparation. Does it not seem fairly certain that the moment the issue was raised, all boards including the PCB, would have been given an opportunity to speak and then to vote. The other boards have already said 'no' unequivocally to the world cup being hosted in Pakistan - I cannot see that decision being gone back on and therefore cannot see the point of any more dialogue.

In any event, the only option is to host matches elsewhere. If matches are to be hosted elsewhere, why stop at Dubai or Abu Dhabi? Wasn't there a recent proposal to play some Pakistan 'home' matches in England? So play one group match there and then move to the sub-continent? Is that fair? How is that a world cup in the Indian sub-continent?

Lastly, on the political front - since you are based out of Pakistan, does it look like the situation there is going to improve anytime soon? What sort of deadline is fair - how does one decide that??

The PCB didn't issue a legal notice when the Champtions Trophy was taken away, did they? Was it because there was dialogue or simply because the PCB still received its hosting fee? If that is all the PCB has an issue with, let them call a spade a spade, and ask for the money.

Q said...

TM, ud be surprised as to how much money some people have in Pakistan.

There was no dialogue to begin with. From what I understand it was thrown at Pakistan, without any prior warning, and the voting that happened was an impromptu excercise. Which if it did, I feel is unfair.

Yes England has been talked abt as a surrogate host for test matches, but certainly its not the same thing to host Pak's WC match in England as it is in Dubai & Abu Dhabi.

The proximity of Dubai to Pakistan makes it an ideal surrogate host and it keeps the WC in South Asia if not the subcontinent.

And you're right there was no legal notice when the champs trophy was taken away but that decision made sense. There was dialogue as u say. That dialogue went on for many months before it was finally decided after various different security checks.

First the ICC send its security assessment team. Then England, AUS, and SA got together and collectively sent a security expert to assess conditions in Pak.

After all this some teams decided not to come to Pak.

There was a process.

One can argue that after the attack on SL such a process is not deemed necessary cos the obvious is out there for everyone to see.

But thats not right. I dont know when and how things will get better. I pray soon but again I am no one to say. Maybe tomorrow the taliban will be wiped out, maybe in 2 months, maybe 6, maybe not in 10 years. No one can say.

But why did the ICC not wait for the 18 months before the WC deadline to decide on security arrangements? Why was it done is such haste when everyone knows that Pakistan is in a vulnerable situation?

I recommend everyone read Kartikeya's take on the whole thing.

Here's the link: http://cricketingview.blogspot.com/2009/05/pcb-sues-icc.html#5430341030971739305

It makes a lot of sense.

TM said...

I quote: 'Even if the ICC may have acted in a kneejerk manner, and them being called to account by the PCB is good thing for the ICC, it is hard to see how any other conclusion would be possible in the near future.'

What Kartikeya says towards the end of the post is the most practical thing that can be said. Other than making the PCB feel good, it is improbable, if not impossible, that dialogue will achieve anything.

Surely you accept that even if the Pakistan government gave assurances for the players security, most teams would not play in Pakistan. The walkovers would ruin the tournament.

Surrogate hosting in Abu Dhabi may work, but I still feel that there is something ...wrong... with that. That said, it is a personal opinion, and we are bound to disagree. What Karikeyan says on international diplomacy is not unequivocally true - sport and diplomcay do, after all, have a rich tradition of running hand in hand. In cricket and otherwise. Someone should post on that

maverick said...

an ICC spokesperson has clarified that:

"We also pointed out that the ICC board agreed only that the World Cup matches should be moved away from Pakistan, not that the PCB should be removed from its position as a joint host of the event itself. The suggestion the ICC board was not empowered to decide that matches should be moved away from Pakistan and that such a decision was 'legally flawed' is also incorrect and without foundation."

I guess that means that PCB will still get the revenue earned from those matches and that i guess answers all PCB's worries!!

TM said...

Thanks and welcome to the blog Maverick. You thinking taking the matches away from Pakistan and hosting them in say Abu Dhabi is good for a 'sub-continental' world cup?

maverick said...

I don't what you mean by "good" TM but I think it surely has the following plus points:

a) PCB remains happy as it retains the title of a 'host' and more importantly the revenue for those matches --- resolves a huge issue!

b) people at Abu Dhabi get to be a part of some cricket action or if i may say some 'substantial and quality' cricket action

c) Most importantly, players are safer than if they were playing at Pakistan!

Although logistics may still remain a problem!

Anonymous said...

It was and with me. Let's discuss this question. Here or in PM.

Anonymous said...

It is a pity, that now I can not express - I am late for a meeting. I will return - I will necessarily express the opinion.

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