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Pictures of Pakistani cricketers covered: PCB says will raise issue with BCCI

File photo of former Pakistani cricketers Wasim Akram (R), Imran Khan (L) and Shahid Afridi. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

PTI Karachi, Pakistan Feb 18, 2019, 12.33 PM (IST)

A day after pictures of former and current Pakistani cricketers, including incumbent Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan, were removed from a couple of venues in India, the Pakistan Cricket Board has said that it will take up with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) during an ICC meeting next month.

In a statement issued late Sunday night, the PCB's Managing Director Wasim Khan said sports has always played a key role in defusing political tensions. The ICC meeting is scheduled to be held in Dubai next month. 

"...We have always believed and emphasised that sports and politics should be kept separate. History tells us that sports, particularly cricket, have always played a key role in building bridges between people and countries," Khan said in the statement.

"... Covering or removing portrait of former Pakistan cricket captain and Prime Minister Imran Khan and other legendary cricketers from one of the most historic cricket clubs and venues are highly regrettable actions," he added.

Recently, India announced to have stopped all its bilateral operations and end all ties with Pakistan after a terror attack in Pulwama that killed over  40 CRPF Jawans.

In the aftermath, the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai covered a portrait of Pakistan Prime Minister and former captain Imran Khan, while the Punjab Cricket Association removed photographs of Pakistani cricketers from various points inside the Mohali stadium.

The PCB Managing Director also confirmed that Indian production company IMG Reliance pulled out of producing the Pakistan Super League matches.

"We have been informed by IMG Reliance that they will be unable to partner with us for the remaining PSL 2019 and PCB has reserved all its rights. The PCB always had a contingency plan in place...," Khan said.

IMG Reliance had announced its withdrawal as official production partner for PSL as a mark of protest against the Pulwama attack.