The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, Shahryar Khan, is hopeful that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will honour the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with Pakistan to play a series.
Shahryar, while talking to the reporters on Monday, said that BCCI is ready to play a series with Pakistan but they are still waiting for their newly elected government’s approval.BCCI is standing firm that they will respect the MoU signed with Pakistan, but they need permission from the recently elected government, said Shahryar.
Another issue is the dispute between Ten Sports and BCCI. The Indian board is reluctant to visit if Ten Sports is given broadcasting rights.
We can’t do anything about this issue because we placed an open tender and Ten Sports won the broadcasting rights. If this is solved then the only remaining problem will be the political environment between the countries. We are still maintaining our stance that sports and politics should be kept apart.We hope India honours the agreement. If they don’t, it would not be good. Moreover, we can’t interfere in government affairs but we want to see a green light from the Indian government soon.
Shahryar also talked about how some associate teams are ready to visit Pakistan and the reluctance of PCB to not pressurise full-member nations to come to the country to play a series.
Hong Kong and Oman are ready to visit Karachi. In the next few weeks, we will finalize the plan of all the countries who will tour Pakistan. They will play three to four matches on their way to Mumbai for the World Twenty20. We have the same conditions as India, so it will help them practice for the tournament.
We won’t pressure full-member teams to visit Pakistan after a successful Zimbabwe tour. There are indications that they (Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) are considering a visit to Pakistan.
Our security conditions are better now. We hosted Kenya, Afghanistan and the Australian army team so now the decision rests in the teams’ hand. Ireland and Scotland, meanwhile, are ready to come to Pakistan.
Shahryar also explained how he raised the issue of a non-effective ‘Pakistan task force’ made by International Cricket Council (ICC) and how the chairman of the committee, Giles Clark, responded to the query.
We asked ICC about the Pakistan task force, explained Shahryar. Its main work was to revive cricket in Pakistan. We said we are doing all the things ourselves, inviting teams and providing them secure environment to play.
We questioned the effectiveness of the task force. The chairman of the committee, Giles Clark, then proposed that he will bring an international team to Pakistan. He said the team will play at three venues including Karachi, Lahore and any other place where the PCB wants. He asked for the dates and the budget and was satisfied with everything. We proposed December and April, while he said that September would be a better option.
While replying to a question about the organisation of Pakistan Super League in Qatar rather than Pakistan, Shahryar said: Playing PSL in Pakistan in the first season will neither be good for our cricketer nor lucrative because no big names would like to come here at the moment. Launching it in the UAE and as a second option in Qatar is good for our cricket as well as to generate good money.