Condemning the storming of BCCI headquarters in Mumbai by Shiv Sena workers protesting against the proposed India-Pakistan bilateral cricket series, ICC president Zaheer Abbas on Monday said politics should never be mixed with sports.
The Shiv Sena workers were protesting against BCCI president Shashank Manohar’s much-anticipated meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan to discuss the fate of a proposed bilateral series slated for December.
Reacting on the issue, Abbas, a former Pakistan cricketer, said, “It’s not a new thing. It’s been happening for long. But being the ICC president, I want cricket to spread all around the world.”
“Politics and cricket are two different things. Pakistan is not asking India to play in Pakistan. Pakistan is asking for a bilateral series to be played at a neutral venue,” he told TV channels.
The ICC president said the entire cricketing world is waiting for an India-Pakistan series to take place. “Nothing better than India and Pakistan playing each other. The whole world and the people of both India and Pakistan are waiting for the series. The world is hoping that India will give a good news to the cricketing world,” said Abbas, who is regarded as one of the finest batsmen to have represented Pakistan.
Manohar had invited Khan for talks on the much-awaited series scheduled in December. But the Sena workers on Monday barged into the BCCI office holding anti-Pakistan placards and shouted slogans against Khan, who is in Mumbai to meet the newly-elected BCCI president. The protesters “gheraoed” BCCI chief Manohar’s desk and said they will not allow any cricket ties with Pakistan.