London, Feb.17 : Former Pakistan cricket captain Asif Iqbal has aid that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is not handling the proposed tour of the Australian team to Pakistan properly, and believes that the statements coming out of Cricket Australia suggest that only a miracle can save the tour.
"Australia has been one nation who appear to be unequivocally against the idea of playing in Pakistan and their cricketers are not the only ones who have shown reticence in this regard, " Iqbal says in an article reported by The News.
While he says that the PCB's anxiety about the tour going ahead is understood, the way the board has gone about trying to retrieve the situation is difficult to understand, he adds.
"One fully appreciates the need to insure the tour, given that the Australians for months have had a rather ambiguous attitude, even before the assassination of Ms. Benazir Bhutto. However, by making this very understandable step public, the Board has, certainly inadvertently, given out a message that it never really expected the Australians to come to Pakistan," claims Iqbal.
Therefore even though the financial imperative for insuring the tour cannot be denied, there was a need to handle the matter a little more carefully and ensure that it did not come out into the public domain, at least till such time as the tour was declared finally and irrevocably off. There was no need whatsoever to come out with it at a stage when negotiations are still on," he says.
"I would also think that it is a bit naive, both politically and administratively, to be threatening, at this point in time, to cancel Pakistan's next tour to Australia if the Aussies refuse to come. Secondly, such a threat would in all probability bring the PCB into direct confrontation with the ICC's rules on the subject," he concludes.