x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Call for ICC rule change over tours

Former Pakistan captains Ramiz Raja and Intikhab Alam have urged the ICC to review its rules to make sure countries do not pick and choose tours.

Australia's decision to tour India, despite the recent bombings, and not Pakistan has angered former Pakistan captains Ramiz Raja and Intikhab Alam.
Australia's decision to tour India, despite the recent bombings, and not Pakistan has angered former Pakistan captains Ramiz Raja and Intikhab Alam.

KARACHI // Former Pakistan captains Ramiz Raja and Intikhab Alam have urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to review its rules to make sure countries do not pick and choose tours. Their demand came after Australia decided to tour India despite last week's bomb blasts in New Delhi that killed more than 20 people, having repeatedly refused to travel to Pakistan over security concerns. "For Pakistani cricket administrators, players and fans the situation is very frustrating and it is wrong and I think the fault lies with the ICC," Raja said today.

Australia postponed a Test tour of Pakistan earlier this year for security reasons and were among the four nations which refused to send teams for this month's ICC Champions Trophy, forcing its postponement until October next year. ICC rules stipulate hefty fines on teams refusing to tour under its Future Tours Programme (FTP) unless it is because of issues beyond the visiting side's control. Raja was critical of the rules.

"What is wrong is that the ICC have got rules made up for certain blocs to quit cricket in certain areas at their own will and this pick and choose policy must stop," he said. "The ICC needs to review existing conditions and change the rules at their level." The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has accused Cricket Australia of double standards for agreeing to tour India while snubbing Pakistan's security assurances.

Intikhab said if Australia could tour India then it was only right Pakistan should also be designated a safe cricket nation. "I think it is time the ICC played a stronger role and made sure that countries like Australia didn't pick and choose their tours," he said. "The ICC must have a uniform policy for its member nations on foreign tours taking security issues into consideration." *Reuters