In recent weeks, both the West Indies Cricket Board president and CEO Michael Muirhead have stated that West Indies are certain to miss the 2017 Champions Trophy because of nonagreement from Pakistan (90 points) ranked eighth in the ICC 50 overs table about playing the tri-series that was scheduled from August 17 to September 7.
Pakistan’s non commitment was recently confirmed after they won their one-day series with Sri-Lanka 3-2 to all but secure their Champions Trophy spot and later rescheduled the bilateral series with Zimbabwe to September 24 – October 5. With West Indies ranked ninth (88 points), Pakistan were reluctant to play such a series that could jeopardise their Champions Trophy qualification before the September 30 cut-off date.
This has led to much condemnation of the WICB from experts around the Caribbean, but Mani has taken aim at the ICC for how they have structured the tournament that used to involve all test playing nations.
“The fact that Pakistan has pulled out of the tri-series is simply ‘not cricket’ and goes against the spirit of the game,” stated Mani, who was (International Cricket Council) president from 2003-2006.
He continued: “Unfortunately, since the ICC meddled with the binding nature of the Future Tours Programme (FTP) last year, there is no obligation on any country to stick to commitments made to tour unless these have been confirmed in a binding contact.
“This ‘free for all’ nature of tour commitment opens it to manipulation which is exactly what has happened in this case.
“It also shows just how blindly the cricket boards agreed to the changes in the FTP without understanding the consequences.” Mani, who is of Pakistani origin, further stated that such a revamped champions trophy that doesn’t have all the test-playing nations involved is a poor trade-off for no Test championship.