Thatscricket - Wish your star

Published: Monday, March 26, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi: Pakistan said on Sunday it will never play India again at cricket in response to New Delhi's refusal to send its team to Sharjah for the One-day International tri-series tournament."Pakistan will not play India anywhere in any event in the future and that's it," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia told AFP. "Enough is enough and we now don't want to get bothered about India anymore."His sharp reaction follows comments by an Indian sports ministry official that India will not take part in the tri-series tournament against Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Gulf state of Sharjah from April 8 to 20."We want to play cricket and that's all. We will definitely send our team to Sharjah," Zia said. He also said that in retaliation Pakistan would not attend next year's International Cricket Council (ICC) knockout tournament in India."We will not go for the ICC knockout event if India hosts it next year," he said. "We will also take advice from the government."Earlier the PCB's director of operations, Brigadier Munawwar Rana, said, "Pakistan will continue to be positive as per its current policy and will continue to play with all teams. India's anti-cricket stance no more bothers us, it's of little concern now."Zia, who is also president of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), threw into doubt the continued existence of the body. "When India is doing all these anti-cricket things the Asian body ceases to exist," he said."I will not preside the ACC meeting in Sharjah next month." Zia said the ICC should have "asserted more in this regard and acted like football's FIFA, which forbids government involvement in sport".Last year, the Indian government also barred its team's scheduled December tour of Pakistan and had earlier pulled out of the Toronto One-day series with its rival, in protest at Islamabad's alleged involvement in Indian-administered Kashmir.ICC President Malcolm Grey last week met Indian Sports Minister Uma Bharti, Foreign Minister Yaswant Singh and Home Minister L K Advani urging them to allow India to play Pakistan.The ICC, however, ruled out any financial sanctions against India if it continued to refuse to play Pakistan.The ICC also set an April 30 deadline for India to spell out its cricket foreign policy so that it can arrange a replacement team to play Pakistan in line with its 10-year Test match programme.

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