Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman, Ijaz Butt, has voiced frustrations that his successor, Zaka Ashraf, may have severely damaged ongoing bilateral ties between India and Pakistan.
Ashraf, who took over as Chairman in October last year, stunned the cricketing world when he said that India were not looking forward to playing Pakistan because they were worried of losing.
“We’re ready to play against them when their Prime Minister and Board president want the teams to play. Maybe it’s their selectors and the team management who are afraid of facing Pakistan” Ashraf said in a statement at Dubai.
Butt, stated that he was shocked and disappointed about the comment, and hoped that talks between the two cricket boards hadn’t been hindered.
“The statement was certainly uncalled for and sent adverse signals across the border. I was personally surprised by the remarks which might have dented the prospects of a bilateral series in the near future, I am afraid” he said to a TV channel.
However, the comment made by Ashraf, has drawn no reaction from The Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI).
In the past few months, Ashraf has been working extremely hard to repair ties with the BCCI, but, after no success, he stated that he did not intend to try again at the Asia Cup final in Dhaka.
With relations between the two boards being frosty at best, the cricketing community will be keeping a close watch on what direction talks between the BCCI and PCB take, after the comments made by Ashraf.