Skip to main content

India-Pakistan cricket series hit by media blackout

updated 8:54 PM EST, Mon December 24, 2012
Security staff with explosive detection equipment have been scoring the stadim in Bangalore ahead of the Christmas Day clash.
Security staff with explosive detection equipment have been scoring the stadim in Bangalore ahead of the Christmas Day clash.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • News blackout for India v Pakistan cricket series
  • Coverage boycotted in a row over press freedom
  • First time Pakistan has visited India since Mumbai attacks in 2008
  • Tight security in place at M. Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore

(CNN) -- Pakistan's first cricket tour of India in five years is set to be hit by a news blackout in an escalating row over press freedom.

The high profile tour kicks off with a Twenty20 international in Bangalore on Christmas Day, but all the leading news agencies, such as Thomson-Reuters and Associated Press, have decided against filing match reports.

The disagreement stems from an earlier decision by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to exclude photographic news agencies from covering games, including the recent Test series between India and England.

"It is regrettable that the politically-charged Pakistan tour will be affected by the BCCI's failure to recognize the long-standing importance of photographic news agencies in the flow of sport and news images every day," said the News Media Coalition, which represents a group of media organizations.

"As a direct result of the BCCI stance, great sporting moments from the cricket tours to India are going unrecorded and therefore lost forever. England's first four games were the hidden series and the Pakistan tour is heading for the same fate. That's not good for cricket -- nor for the image of India abroad," Andrew Moger, Executive Director of the NMC, was quoted on its website.

Indian cricketers accused of corruption
India's 'God of cricket' popularity
Sachin Tendulkar makes cricket history

The BCCI offered it's own photographic content for the India-England series, but newspapers and leading websites outside of India declined to use them.

The BCCI is arguing that international news agencies such as Getty Images use the pictures for commercial as well as strictly editorial purposes and should pay a license fee.

The World Association of Newspapers (WAN-IFRA), said in statement: "All publishers, including those in India are concerned that the BCCI has decided to act against the photographic agency sector which has for years provided images for editorial customers in every country without problem. This is denying the ability of editors to select from the best of photography for the benefit of readers."

As the row over media coverage escalated, security has been stepped up at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium ahead of the opening game.

Police bomb squad officers with sniffer dogs have undertaken a painstaking search amid fears that the game could be disrupted by protests from Indian nationalist organizations.

Read: Cricket legend Tendulkar quits one-day internationals

It is the first time Pakistan has visited India for a series of matches since the 2008 Mumbai attacks which led to a breakdown in diplomatic relations between the two sub-continent nations.

But they did meet in the semifinal of last year's World Cup in the northern Indian city of Mohali when the prime ministers of both countries shook hands.

Indian cricket fans are still digesting the news that their iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar has retired from one-day internationals with immediate effect.

The 39-year-old Tendulkar had already retired from Twenty20 internationals, but was expected to have been available for the three 50-over one day international matches against Pakistan over the New Year period.

Over 3,000 Pakistan fans are expected to watch the opener and 60-year-old Mohammed Bashir, who lives in Chicago, told AFP that the fact the matches were going ahead at all was good news.

"That the teams are playing each other on Indian soil is in itself a big thing. We should not expect anything more to come out of this encounter," Bashir, who cut a colorful figure in the green and gold of Pakistan, said.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:38 AM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Click through our gallery of the most dramatic moments from the world of sport.
updated 12:06 PM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Whisper it quietly, but after years of foreign domination the prospect of a French winner of the Tour de France is more than just a mere pipe dream.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Seven years ago Steve Way was a 20 per day smoker and weighed a hefty 104 kg, but he led the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
updated 9:17 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
updated 4:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Inspirational cyclist Joanna Rowsell added another gold to her growing collection in the individual pursuit at the Commonwealth Games.
updated 12:04 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
At the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, an actor upstaged the Queen by kissing a male dancer.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:36 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Second-tier French side Clermont Foot appoint Helena Costa -- the country's first ever professional female coach of a male team.
updated 1:33 PM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.
updated 9:08 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
The 2002 bomb attacks in Bali had many victims -- including a touring rugby team from Hong Kong.
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
updated 7:54 AM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
updated 6:25 AM EST, Mon January 20, 2014
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.
ADVERTISEMENT