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BCCI won't face sanctions for not touring Pakistan

December 21, 2008 15:23 IST

The Board of Control for Cricket in India only went by the instruction it received from the Indian government and there is no question of sanctioning the Cricket Board for scrapping the tour of Pakistan, International Cricket Council (ICC) president David Morgan said in Mohali on Sunday.

Morgan lamented the lack of international cricket in Pakistan but cited ICC regulations which rule out sanction in such cases.

"No doubt Pakistan suffers from lack of international cricket on home soil. But I understand it was Indian governments decision that the cricket team should not tour Pakistan. As per ICC rules, this is acceptable non-compliance and ICC would have no sanction against BCCI," Morgan said.

Hailing England's decision to return to India after the Mumbai terror attacks, Morgan, a former England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief said credit should go to the ECB and England captain Kevin Pietersen.

"I think it was a vital decision. [ECB security adviser] Reg Dickason is highly respected and he decided it was safe and secure for the team. I'm delighted that they returned, lot of credit goes to Pietersen and ECB. It would have been wrong to give terrorism a victory," he said.

Continuing the series, however, could not amuse the likes of Imran Khan who accused India of double standard by shunning Pakistan on security grounds and continuing with the ongoing home series against England despite the recent terror attacks in Mumbai.

Morgan, however, begged to differ and felt situations in both the countries could not be equated.

"Pakistan is a different country. Quite clearly, the security experts said India is safe and secure [for England] to return but that is not the case with Pakistan," the Englishman said.

"Security assessment was carried out by cricket boards from West Indies, England, Australia and New Zealand and all advised it was not appropriate to tour Pakistan for the event. So that was again an acceptable non-compliance," he explained.

Morgan, however, expressed hope that cancellation of India's tour of Pakistan would not have any adverse effect on the 2011 World Cup, which they host, along with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

"There has to be some concern about the next World Cup which these four countries host. But we are confident that among them, we would have a good World Cup. We have learnt a lesson from the last World Cup and I am sure the sub-continent would host a great World Cup," he said.

Dwelling on the Indian Premier League (IPL), Morgan said the Twenty20 format is not necessarily a nemesis of the longer version of the game. On the contrary, he argued, it opened new commercial vistas for the game.

"The growth of Twenty20 has been interesting and it is good for the game. It led to a great deal of commercial interest to international and domestic cricket. I think cricket is extremely fortunate to have three properties -- Test, one day and Twenty20," he said, before reaffirming the primacy of ICC events.

On cricket's possible inclusion in the Olympics, Morgan ruled out such a possibility before the 2020 Summer Games.

"We have achieved something really important when IOC [International Olympic Committee] recognised ICC. But at the ICC board, we don't have a clear belief to seek Twenty20 cricket, the ideal format, in Olympics. I think at the earliest, its feasible in 2020. But we are someway off deciding if we want to be in the Olympics," he said.

Morgan threw his weight behind the referral system and hoped it would curb excessive appeals.

"I certainly support it...[because] you get the benefit of hindsight. I believe it would do a great deal to improve spirit of cricket and delighted that the MCC World Committee also supported it... Many hope it would reduce appealing," he added.

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