Sometimes it is hard to see past the fact that some of the accusations being made appear more like projections rather than reasonable reactions. The recent statement by Ehsan Mani, of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), about the Pakistan response to the Indian team fielding in Ranchi with the camouflage cap is one such case.

Pakistan have reasons to be worried. Political connotations, terrorism fears and a bleak financial cauldron have made them insecure over the past decade. The recent Pulwama attack on India’s army personnel did not help the Pakistan’s cause to bring full-fledged cricket back home for the simple reason of the cross border infiltration that has alienated India despite the earlier stance of cricket and politics not mixing.

Over the past few years, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has tried desperately and in vain to hold the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) accountable for their loss of face and alienation of cricket on their home turf following the 26/11 attacks in 2008 that put paid to any bilateral resumption of cricket between the two warring neighbours. Even trying to sue the BCCI failed to cut it for the PCB recently.

With last month’s terror attack that cost more than forty military lives, the BCCI was forced to put forth a strong response, considering the clout cricket enjoys amongst the masses, not to mention the revenue generated particularly when a bilateral series between the two cricket playing nations is on. Under pressure to boycott Pakistan even in the forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup, the BCCI released a statement purportedly pushing the onus on the ICC to take action towards suspending the rights of boards and nations ‘from where terror emanates’ in full knowledge that the ICC has had a history of nonchalant non-interference in political matters.

Irked perhaps by the BCCI’s overt, although lip service, gesture, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appears to have shot itself in the foot, on the one hand, calling for the no-politicization of cricket but doing it themselves by suggesting that the Indian cricket team’s decision to don camouflage caps during the third one day international in Ranchi was politically motivated and as a manner of non-requisitioned protest that the ICC should make note of when in fact, the decision was taken reportedly long before the Pulwama attacks at the behest of Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni who has the honorary title of lieutenant colonel with the Indian army.

Even as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has promised to send an even stronger letter to take cognizance of India’s gesture on the field, it appears nothing more than another desperate attempt on the part of the PCB looking for cricket to return to the region but not finding positive response even recently from the Australian cricket team, and a response in fear of further alienation in light of India’s strong revocation of mutual, cultural gestures in the aftermath of the Pulwama attacks.

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