(Photo credit: @shoaib100mph Twitter handle)
MUMBAI: In a scathing attack on the BCCI, former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has alleged that the Indian cricket board played a role in the ICC postponing the T20 World Cup later this year to provide a window for the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Akhtar also opined that the Asia Cup, which was cancelled earlier this month, could have been held. “Asia Cup could have definitely happened, it would have been a great chance for India and Pakistan to play against each other. There are many reasons behind this. I don’t want to get into that,” Akhtar told Geo Cricket on YouTube.
“T20 World Cup could have also happened, but I had already said earlier that they won’t let it happen. IPL should not be damaged, let the World Cup go to hell,” Akhtar said.
The postponement of the men’s T20 World Cup in Australia — from October 18 to November 15 — due to COVID-19 pandemic, has meant that the is a great chance for the IPL to take place later this year. The BCCI plans to stage the tournament in UAE.
Akhtar also dragged in the ‘Monkeygate’ controversy, which took place in 2008, to illustrate his point. The ‘Rawalpindi Express’ indicated that it was the influence of the BCCI that ‘saved’ Harbhajan Singh during the controversy surrounding Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds. The veteran India off-spinner was accused of hurling racial taunts at Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds during the second Test in Sydney.
“Sometimes they get easy wickets in Melbourne, at times someone calls another person a monkey but gets saved, the talk goes to boycotting the series. I am asking the Australians, where are their ethics?” Akhtar said. He also slammed Cricket Australia (CA) for its role in the controversial episode.
“You made kids cry for scratching a cricket ball and they got away by calling someone a monkey. They (the BCCI) said to end the series and they (Australian Board) said no such incident happened. Are these your moral grounds, did you not get the sounds on the mic?” Akhtar asked.