LAHORE - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Chaudhry Zaka Ashraf Friday said that the first attack by ‘Big 3’ was foiled.
Talking to the reporters here at the Gaddafi Stadium after his return from Dubai, Zaka said that he took decision in favour of Pakistan at the ICC meeting. “To some extent, we have stopped Big 3 as we took views of all the cricket boards and then finally decided to go against the proposal. Actually, it is a plan to grab money not to promote cricket therefore we are against it. Cricket should not be sacrificed for money.”
Zaka said that the Indian cricket board offered to play against Pakistan in a bilateral series at a neutral venue if PCB agreed to sign up to the ICC proposal by the Indian, Australian and the English cricket boards.
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) offered to play Pakistan in a bilateral series at a neutral venue, which I regarded as a positive gesture, although I admitted that the BCCI was willing to do it under the condition that the PCB agreed to give their support to the proposal.”
Stating that the PCB needs an official confirmation on this proposal, the PCB chief also said that the board was entitled to some assurances from the BCCI as Pakistan had played two series against India during their stand-off.
He said that there was no way they would fall into the lure of the BCCI promises regarding a bilateral series unless they had it in writing from the BCCI this time, adding that he did not want to be in a position where the BCCI backtracked on their verbal agreement.
The PCB chief said that an important meeting of the Governing Board of the PCB would be held here on February to seek the advice of all the members on the Big Three issue.
He said that he wanted to consult Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the issue of the ‘Big 3’. “I'll be meeting the Prime Minister to discuss these matters with him too. We need the Prime Minister’s views on this as my future as chairman is uncertain. I may not be there tomorrow and I don’t want to make any short term decision that may harm the future of Pakistan cricket. The decisions we make need to be in the best interest of Pakistan cricket and the PCB,” he added.
He said that under the new formula, the role of three nations had been enhanced and assurances had been given that Pakistan’s role would not be decreased. The PCB chief added that Bangladesh had seen its benefit when supporting the ‘Big 3’ but he added the PCB wanted all boards to work together as chasing money would result in cricket being ruined.
He further added: “If we will be playing frequent international cricket it will help in revenue generation through a lot of ways and means but Pakistan wants to maintain its decent stance on the issue of Big 3.”
“With Bangladesh extending supporting to Big 3 now the situation has changed and the number of supports of Big 3 countries have increased,” he added.
He said on the issue of the Big 3 decision was being taken in haste but due to the timely intervention of Pakistan, Bangladesh, West Indies, Sri Lanka and South Africa, the matter was deferred and time frame was sought by the affiliated members for consultation on the issue. “I think it is a big success and breakthrough and with the approval of Big 3, cricket could have suffered a lot and due to the stance of the PCB and other countries a lot of changes were made on the proposed draft of Big 3.”
“Later on, West Indies also joined Bangladesh to extend support to Big 3 but we will be deciding on it after getting a guideline from the government,” he asserted. “Whatever decision the ICC will take on Big 3, it will be taken with mutual understanding and approval of all the Test playing affiliated members. At one stage when Australian Board talked against Pakistan, I stopped them and said they could not talk anything against Pakistan or its cricket related issues.”
Zaka said that the Big 3 countries would get major part of income of the ICC while Pakistan and other countries would continue to receive their respective shares.
He dispelled an impression that he was having differences with the government saying he was serving the PCB after his reinstatement by the apex court.
To a question, he said that Pakistan would be taking part in the ICC Twenty20 Cricket Cup in Bangladesh as it was an ICC event.