MUMBAI (Reuters) – The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have urged the International Cricket Council to take strong action against India after their cricketers wore army camouflage-style caps in a match against Australia on Friday.
Indian cricketers sported olive-and-black caps bearing the cricket board’s logo (BCCI) in solidarity with Indian paramilitary police killed last month in a militant attack by a Pakistan-based group.
The suicide bombing killed 40 in Indian-controlled Kashmir and prompted India to launch an air strike inside Pakistan, which responded with an aerial attack the next day.
PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani told reporters in Karachi late on Sunday they had taken up the matter with the ICC.
“We believe that cricket and sports should not be used for politics and we have said this very clearly,” he said. “Their (India) credibility in the cricketing world has gone down very badly.”
The idea to sport the caps came from former Indian captain and current wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni – one of the game’s biggest names and an honorary lieutenant colonel with the Indian army – who distributed them to the team before the toss.
The BCCI said they had sought permission from the world governing body before Friday’s match, Indian media reported. The reports also said the ICC had confirmed the caps were allowed as part of a charity fundraising effort.
India captain Virat Kohli said all the players would donate their fees from the match to a national defence fund to help out the families of defence personnel who die on duty. Kohli also urged all Indians to contribute to the fund.
Nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence over Kashmir, which both sides claim in full but rule in part.
Mani said the ICC had in the past acted against England all-rounder Moeen Ali and South Africa leg-spinner Imran Tahir for breaching ICC clothing and equipment regulations to make political statements.
“The ICC had taken strong action against them and we have sought similar action against India,” he added. “The permission they took was for a different purpose but they acted differently.
“We have been in touch with ICC from day one, sent one letter already and another is being followed up in next 12 hours. There should not be any ambiguity as we are taking this very strongly.”
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Peter Rutherford)