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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ehsan Mani hints the role of India in keeping Pakistan out of hosting 2011 World Cup

Ehsan Mani hints the role of India in keeping Pakistan out of hosting 2011 World Cup

Ehsan ManiThe already tense atmosphere within the Asian Bloc post ICC's decision to strip Pakistan from co-hosting the 2011 World Cup took an even uglier turn. Former ICC President, Ehsan Mani came out with statements that his country could have been manoeuvred out of its hosting rights due to a split within the Asian Bloc led by India. He also criticized the ICC for its inability to look for viable solutions.

Mani is widely thought to be the person who's been the major guiding force behind the PCB in its legal battle with the ICC. However, he's advised his country's officials to keep 'back-channel communications' open with the ICC throughout the process. The former ICC Chief said that fears that the subcontinent could lose the World Cup altogether could have prompted the split to happen within the strong Asian Bloc, something that in his words had not happened in his 20 years of association with the game. Mani conceded that relations between the ICC and the PCB were 'not good' and said that his Board should have been given a chance of presenting its case. In his opinion, in the end Pakistan was left with no other choice other than to adopt the legal route.

In a separate development, former West India legends, Sir Gary Sobers and Sir Vivian Richards threw their weight behind Test cricket and said that the longest format of the game was still the pinnacle. Viv Richards was particularly harsh in his comments on Gayle as he said that the captain's recent statements on Test cricket were tantamount to a "total betrayal of the game that raised him". He said that Gayle must remember that he was first noticed due to the success that he'd achieved in Test cricket and not in any other form of the game. Sobers, while maintaining that he couldn't relate to the cash versus country debate also supported the statements of Richards and hoped that Test cricket would still be considered as the most revered format of the game. Gayle had come under severe criticism for his decision to extend his IPL stay in South Africa and land in England just 2 days prior to the 1st Test. Additionally, he'd made comments in the press wherein he stated that he wouldn't particularly mind if Test cricket were to die as a result of the growing popularity of T20.