Ex-ICC boss accuses Pakistan of 'manipulation' to safeguard Champions Trophy qualification

Aug 20, 2015, 19:06 IST | IANS

Islamabad: Former International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani has accused Pakistan of manipulating an upcoming tri-series to safeguard its qualification for the 2017 Champions Trophy.

The West Indies needed to play in the tri-series involving Pakistan and Zimbabwe, before a September 30 deadline, as their qualification route to the Champions Trophy, reports CMC.

The tri-series was originally scheduled from August 17 to September 7.

"The fact that Pakistan has pulled out of the tri-series is simply not cricket and goes against the spirit of the game," stated Mani, the ICC president from 2003-2006.

Pakistan appear to have reversed their decision after winning their one-day series with Sri-Lanka 3-2 to all but secure their Champions Trophy spot.

The Pakistanis later rescheduled the bilateral series with Zimbabwe to September 24 - October 5.

With 90 points, they are ranked eight on the ICC 50-overs table while the West Indies are ranked ninth on 88 points and as such appear reluctant to play such a series that could jeopardise their Champions Trophy qualification.

"Unfortunately, since the ICC meddled with the binding nature of the Future Tours Programme (FTP) last year, there is no obligation on any country to stick to commitments made to tour unless these have been confirmed in a binding contact," said Mani who is of Pakistan origin.

"This free for all nature of tour commitment opens it to manipulation which is exactly what has happened in this case. It also shows just how blindly the cricket boards agreed to the changes in the FTP without understanding the consequences."

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has come under fire from several quarters over the regional side's failure to advance to the 2017 Champions Trophy.

In recent weeks, both WICB president Dave Cameron and CEO Michael Muirhead have blamed Pakistan for the West Indies missing the Champions Trophy.

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