ICC President Ehsan Mani said that the ICC would not comment on the British Government’s advice to the ECB at this stage but did note that all countries had previously discussed this issue of government information and its impact on touring decisions during the meeting of the ICC’s Cricket Committee – Management (CC-M) in June 2003.
It was agreed at this meeting that unless a Board was ordered by its government not to tour another country each country would meet its touring obligations. This position was agreed again at the CC-M meeting in October 2003.
‘The ECB forwarded us a copy of this advice this afternoon,’ said Mr Mani.
‘What can be said as a simple statement of fact is that international cricket Boards have previously agreed that unless they received a direct order from their government not to tour they would honour their touring commitments.’
‘All countries recognise that there is a link between sport and politics and that it is the right of governments to take actions, including the imposition of sporting sanctions, which they consider to be in the national interest.
‘In cricket we have seen this very recently where the Indian government ordered its cricket team not to tour Pakistan. While the Indian government took this decision, the Indian Board continued to work to try and re-establish cricketing contact between the countries,’ said Mr Mani.
‘Where governments fall short of taking strong and decisive action, Boards are of the view that tours should proceed.
‘Of course, it is open to the ECB to persuade other Boards that this view should be changed though the democratic processes that are in place within the ICC for discussion and debate on this type of issue.’
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