President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Anurag Thakur has been criticised by former Pakistani cricketers over his allegations on Islamabad sponsoring terrorism.
Thakur, who is also an MP for the ruling Narendra Modi government said that cricketing ties between the two neighbours will not resume until Pakistan stops sponsoring terrorism. This statement did not go down well with former Pakistani cricketers as they said that that such opinions should not come from the head of what is the most powerful cricketing body in the world.
"It is an out and out political statement from the President of the BCCI. We are disappointed as we have been trying hard for a long time now to normalize cricket ties with India and we have always believed in keeping sports and politics apart. The ICC keeps on saying it will not tolerate politics or government interference in member boards and the BCCI President is making political statements. Either he speaks as a BJP leader or a BCCI head," said former Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf, as quoted by the Indian Express.
Legendary leg-spinner Abdul Qadir too was upset with Thakur's comments and said that it was the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that tried to keep politics away from cricket, but now it is clear that the BCCI is a sporting body dominated by politicians.
"They have not played us for so many years so what value is this statement off. I believe that the PCB should seriously think about playing India in the group matches of any ICC event. It's time we stopped running after India and said thank you to them," he said.
The two countries have not played a bilateral series since Pakistan toured India for a short One Day International tour in December 2012. However, the arch-rivals have faced off in International tournaments, the most recent being in the group stages of the ICC T20 World Cup held earlier this year.