Reacting to the covering and removal of former Pakistan cricketers at a couple of venues in India, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday harped on the role played by sports in defusing political tensions.
In the wake of Thursday's Pulwama terror attack, the Cricket Club of India (CCI) in Mumbai covered a portrait of Pakistan Prime Minister and former captain Imran Khan, while the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) removed photographs of ex-cricketers from various points inside the Mohali stadium.
Besides, the broadcast of Pakistan Super League (PSL) has been suspended in India by DSport. It was followed by IMG Reliance, the official production company of the T20 league, also withdrew its agreement with the PCB to live-produce the ongoing tournament.
In protest against the terror attack, popular cricket portal CricBuzz also suspended coverage of the league. It has pulled down all the scorecards and news articles related to this season of the league.
Terming the actions taken up by the Indian establishments as "regrettable", the PCB said it will take up issues with the Board of Control for Cricket In India (BCCI) during an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting this month.
The ICC meeting is scheduled to be held in Dubai from February 28.
In a statement issued released late Sunday night, PCB's Managing Director Wasim Khan said sports has always played a key role in defusing political tensions.
"...we have always believed and emphasised that sports and politics should be kept separate. History tells us that sports, particularly cricket, have always played a key role in building bridges between people and countries," Khan said in the statement.
"... covering or removing portrait of former Pakistan cricket captain and Prime Minister Imran Khan and other legendary cricketers from one of the most historic cricket clubs and venues are highly regrettable actions," he added.
Talking about IMG Reliance's pulling out of producing PSL (PSL) matches, Khan said that they "have been informed by IMG Reliance that they will be unable to partner with us for the remaining PSL 2019 and PCB has reserved all its rights. The PCB always had a contingency plan in place..."
In one of the worst-ever terrorist attacks in India, a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber blew up an explosive-laden vehicle near a CRPF convoy, killing at least 40 personnel. JeM is a Pakistan-based terror outfit.
More than 2,500 CRPF personnel, many of them returning from leave to rejoin duty in the Valley, were traveling in the convoy of 78 vehicles when they were ambushed in the Srinagar-Jammu highway around 3.15 pm.
(With Agency inputs)