FICA takes a swipe at KamalStaff Correspondent
Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) has reproached Bangladesh Cricket Board president AHM Mustafa Kamal regarding the Pakistan tour, saying that he put the players’ lives at risk for his personal ambition.
FICA chief executive officer Tim May in a press release on Thursday said that after a series of indecisive and contradictory comments the decision of touring the violence-hit Pakistan came mainly from Kamal, who brushed aside security concerns of the players, clearly returning the Pakistan Cricket Board the favour for nominating Kamal for the ICC vice-presidency.
‘As the peak body of Player Associations, of which the Cricketers Welfare Association of Bangladesh (CWAB) is a full member, FICA considers the matter of Player Safety as paramount in the consideration of whether any event or series should proceed,’ said May.
‘This decision of whether Bangladesh should tour Pakistan needed to be a concise and transparent process. Unfortunately all we have witnessed is seemingly a complete lack of any process and a series of indecisive and contradictory comments, particularly coming from the Bangladesh Cricket Board president Mustafa Kamal.
‘The actions and words of Mr Kamal certainly give the impression of confirming rumors that there has been a deal reached between the Pakistan Cricket Board and Mr Kamal, that the PCB will nominate Mr Kamal for the position of ICC vice-president if Bangladesh agrees to tour Pakistan,’ said May in the statement.
In the press release, FICA highlighted all the statements, from both Kamal and PCB, which lead to assurance that the tour was only a personal interest for the BCB president.
Regarding the security approval, FICA drew attention to Kamal’s statement, made on March 4 when after the completion of the security visit to Pakistan he concluded that the delegation was
satisfied with the security arrangement.
But when the ICC requested for the details, neither the PCB nor the BCB could provide any security plans to the ICC till now.
FICA also pointed put that Kamal’s change of stance in different situations regarding the issue of neutral umpires, to be appointed by ICC for the series.
Firstly, Kamal confirmed the tour after returning from Pakistan and then he said the tour will proceed only if the ICC provides neutral umpires.
Following Kamal’s change of stance on the issue, PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf was quoted as saying: ‘The PCB will review its relation with Bangladesh if they refuse to tour Pakistan.’
And finally on April 15 at the ICC executive board meeting, Kamal told the ICC that even if it decides not to send neutral umpires Bangladesh would tour Pakistan.
FICA raised eyebrows and questioned Kamal on how he signed the security arrangements when as it was not even finalised.
‘As an interested party with a primary interest in the safety of players, it’s difficult for FICA to see how the BCB was able to sign off on the security arrangements in March when as recently as this week, by the PCB’s own admission, the PCB still hasn’t finalised or confirmed arrangements with the Punjab government,’ said FICA.
The BCB directors were taken by surprise as they had no idea of the sudden decision by Kamal and learnt it only from the media. Later, the cricket operations committee held a meeting and gave their views that the tour should be cancelled.
‘The BCB president has a huge interest. The matter should not be decided by Mr Kamal alone, it should be a decision of the entire BCB Board – as the directors of the BCB will be held liable if issues arise during the tour.
‘One would expect that a person who holds the responsibility of the BCB president and also of an ICC Director would address the “conflict of interest and remove himself from any decision in this matter”,’ said May.
FICA was also stunned to see the CWAB not involved in the security visit as it is mainly a concern for the travelling players and coaching staff.
‘Given that the PCB has been told by the ICC for a significant period of time that it needed to reassure players that it is safe to return to Pakistan, it is extraordinary, that players or their Player Association, CWAB, were not invited to the security review in March and have been excluded from this whole security review process.
‘The players’ safety, and the safety of the people around them, should be all that matters in this issue and the only factor taken into account when deciding whether to tour or not.
‘Players’ safety should not be put at risk to enhance someone’s political or other aspirations,’ May added.
FICA has asked not to hurry and make any conflited approach, rather it wanted a full proof of the safety in Pakistan.
‘What’s required is not a stumbling, non transparent and conflicted approach to this issue, but a proper fully transparent independent report on the safety of playing in the country.
‘Only then will players will feel comfortable contemplating whether it is time to play International cricket again in Pakistan,’ said May.
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