In the past few weeks, Pakistan's message along political and cricketing lines has been very loud and clear: peace is our motive and nothing else, and en route to the attainment of this goal, multiple gestures were made to ease the tensions in the region post Pulwama attack.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had announced on Friday that the Indian team would be wearing camouflage caps during their third ODI match against Australia in Ranchi "as (a) mark of tribute to the loss of lives in Pulwama terror attack and the armed forces".
Moeen Ali, the England allrounder, was banned in 2014 for wearing wristbands bearing the slogans "Save Gaza" and "Free Palestine" on the first two days of the third Test against India at The Ageas Bowl. The two cricket boards had been at loggerheads for some time and after the attack, the relationship between the two boards took another hitting.
Mani, however, said ICC chief executive Dave Richardson will be in Karachi to watch the game. "I am delighted that I will be watching another match in this cricket ground", Ammar Ali, a student, told Arab News.
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"Sad to see war hysteria in Indian cricket team with great players like Virat Kohli and M.S. Dhoni leading it", Tohid said in a tweet. While the European Central Bank had defended Moeen's stance, describing his actions as humanitarian rather than political, match referee David Boon had reminded Moeen of the ICC's clothing and equipment regulations.
PCB chairman Mani said they had sent invitations to the ICC and all its affiliated boards to attend the Pakistan Super League (PSL) summit clash but the world body's chairman Shashank Manohar, who is an Indian, and BCCI acting-president C K Khanna had cited personal engagements for their unavailability.
He also urged the Pakistan Cricket Board "to lodge [a] formal protest".
Last month, the BCCI had asked the ICC to "sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates" following the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed.
The world is now watching everything more closely than ever; even the Indian writers are asking if "the Indian team [is] setting a unsafe precedent?" and "unwittingly making a "political" statement".