Former Indian captain Bishan Singh Bedi has criticised the politicisation of India-Pakistan cricket ties. Indian government has not given a go ahead for any India-Pakistan bilateral series since 2012. Since then, both the teams have met only in either ICC tournaments of Asia Cup.
Speaking during an interaction of an annual DDCA conclave, Bedi expressed, “Why politicise cricket? Have you been able to wipe off terrorism by not playing cricket? Cricket is a platform to come closer.”
When questioned regarding the current social outline of anti-Pakistan being linked to the entire issue, Bedi said, “This is not right. I am not talking anti-India if I am asking for a cricket series with Pakistan. Let’s not narrow down the meaning of patriotism.”
Moreover, Bedi kept on venting his emotions and said the term ‘control’ should be removed from the name of the Indian cricket board — Board of Control for Cricket in India. Bedi reasons it by saying that it ‘stinks’ of dictatorial mindset.
“The national logo (India flag) has to be worn by the Indian team and not the BCCI logo. I am very clear in my mind. The players are not playing for BCCI but are playing for India. New Zealand and Australia have national emblems. England has national emblem. Even Pakistan and Bangladesh wear national emblems,” Bedi added.
In addition, Bedi wants the name of the board to be changed. “Let me be very clear. Indian Cricket Board (ICB) or Cricket India should be the name,” said India’s one of the finest left-arm spinner.
Going with flow, Bedi also criticised the board over organising meaningless Sri Lanka series, which is barely giving any contest to the Indian side. “What are we gaining out of these Sri Lanka series? We are just playing them time and again. We thrashed them in their backyard and now we are thrashing them here also. At least let’s have some contest. There is no context,” the 71-year old former Indian cricketer said.
“Had this Sri Lanka tour not happened, the boys would have played Ranji Trophy. May be had a camp also for preparation before going to South Africa. That’s the camp Virat was referring to (during the pre-match conference before the second Test in Nagpur),” quipped Bedi.