Why BCCI’s ‘semi-boycott’ of Pakistan in international tournaments defies common sense

Bikram Vohra, Oct, 01 2016

Politics into sports shouldn't go. Unless you are the BCCI when you can make arbitrary decisions that defy common sense. What is the logic in asking the ICC to ensure that India and Pakistan are not in the same pool for any global tournament?

One can understand that, linking it to the Uri incident and the subsequent developments, if BCCI President Anurag Thakur had informed the ICC – whose reps are in Sharjah watching Pakistan play West Indies – that henceforth India will not play any tournament against Pakistan, and the boycott is total. But this semi-boycott is just eyewash.

File photo of BCCI President Anurag Thakur. Reuters

File photo of BCCI President Anurag Thakur. Reuters

What if they are in different pools, which in itself is match fixing and an offence per se, and both advance and have to play each other in the semifinals or the finals? Do we then walk off the field and concede the match after a round robin?

If this is supposed to be a populist move to open the sixth front against Pakistan, then do it properly. Just refuse to play them and live with the consequences. Then you are on par with the SAARC snub, the diplomatic offensive, the water war, the MFN status debate and the military operation.

Someone needs to tell Mr Thakur that you cannot be 'half pregnant'. Either you play on or you do not play at all. The BCCI clearly believes that its politically inclined boss also wants to score brownie points with the Prime Minister, but this is not the way to do it. If he thinks that the public is going to be impressed, he should think again.

There is no sense in sending out such a half baked 'sure to boomerang in your face' option. As reported, the decision to do this after the BCCI held a special meeting on Friday, actually indicts the BCCI.

It also sets a very ugly precedent in sport and this can start snowballing into more nations asking for concessions in the draw.

If you remember fixing the fixtures in soccer has already raised a stink. Imagine a nation actually asking for such a ratification.

If the BCCI feels so strongly, simply call for a boycott of Pakistan by all cricket playing nations on grounds that this country, by Indian assessment and submission, are sponsors and exporters of terrorism.

But to say 'we won’t play them in the early stages but if it gets to the end of the tourney, then what the heck, we will sink our principles and take the field,' is not a boycott. It is a silly little act of self indulgence with no redeeming features whatsoever.

It is exactly for these reason that we often paint ourselves into a corner because we don’t think out the consequences. Imagine if we end up in a World Cup final (seeing as how it is an open-ended threat) or semis, and then have to make a decision or give them a walk over.

You think that would be edifying?

Either have the moxy to go all out or do not say something that puts your foot in your mouth.

Published Date: Oct 01, 2016 | Updated Date: Oct 01, 2016

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115