Punjab Cricket Association president IS Bindra feels the BCCI should revoke the ban it imposed on several players, following the match-fixing scandal in 2000, in view of the manner in which other countries and the ICC have gone about the issue.
Slamming the ICC for its disapproval of BCCI’s invitation to former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin — banned for life in the wake of the scandal — to their official function in Mumbai on November 4, Bindra said its attitude smacked of hypocrisy and double standards.
“All ICC is talking about is complete nonsense. We were the only ones who took action against our players. The other countries and the ICC simply swept the issue under the carpet. I would like to know what action was taken against Shane Warne, Mark Waugh, Herschelle Gibbs,” asked Bindra.
“I was the one who raised the issue then. But, in retrospect, I feel the board was foolish to punish the players and, given the way other countries and the ICC have soft pedalled on the issue, the board should revoke the ban,” Bindra said.
As for inviting Azhar, Bindra said the former skipper was banned from cricket; that did not entail a social boycott. “We have invited all former Indian skippers and Azhar is one of them. So we don’t see any problem in inviting him to the official function,” he said.
Asked if he could see an end to the confrontation between the ICC and the BCCI, Bindra said it was a matter of principles for them and they could go to any length to protect the interest of the game and players.
Meanwhile, following the poor response from spectators for matches involving Bangladesh, the BCCI is actively considering snapping up the reciprocal system — the guiding principle in bilateral series — with the Bangladesh Cricket Board. According to the new system, the BCCI will send teams more often to Bangladesh but will not host the minnows in a bilateral series.
“We have witnessed a poor response from spectators for matches involving Bangladesh in the Champions Trophy and prior to it. There is no point in hosting matches which do not have even a few hundred people watching,” a Board official said.