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ICC shouldn't let BCCI run the game: Oz media

cricket Updated: Jan 08, 2008 16:21 IST

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BCCI's threat to pull out of the ongoing tour is a "veiled form of blackmail" and the ICC should not succumb to the Indian Board and let it usurp the governing body's role, the Australian media said on Tuesday.

Cricket writers in Australia felt the Indian team's grievances against controversial umpire Steve Bucknor may be "genuine" but their threat to pull out should be given the "harsh response it deserves."

"India's threat to boycott the Australian tour has come down to a battle of who runs cricket - India or the ICC," Robert Craddock wrote in 'The Daily Telegraph'.

"If the ICC buckles and overturns the Harbhajan verdict because of Indian pressure, it may as well shut its doors in Dubai and cease to exist," he said.

"If the ICC feels Harbhajan was worth suspending, it must not crumble in the face of a subcontinental blackmail from the world's most powerful cricket nation," it said.

He, however, sympathised with the Indian "genuine" grievances against umpire Steve Bucknor, who has been replaced by New Zealand's Billy Bowden for the third Test in Perth.

"India want Steve Bucknor sacked from the next Test in Perth and so he should be. Every grievance India have against him is genuine."

"But India's suspension of the tour while they wait for an appeal on the suspension of Harbhajan Singh is a veiled form of blackmail and must be treated with the harsh response it deserves," he said.

"If the Harbhajan verdict stands - as it should - and India abandon the tour, then so be it. Their nation will be in disgrace, their team retreating as men who cowered in the face of substantial adversity," he said in a harsh comment.