LAHORE - Pakistan's cricket chief on Monday claimed his country will earn $450 million in the next eight years, mainly from hosting four series to be played with arch-rivals India.
India and Pakistan signed an agreement to play a total of six series -- the other two will be hosted by India -- on the sidelines of an International Cricket Council (ICC) annual conference in Melbourne last week. The potential windfall for Pakistan was made possible after they conditionally agreed to approve an ICC revamp that gives major powers to cricket's "Big Three": India; Australia and England. The shakeup, which Pakistan initially opposed, was formally endorsed at the meeting in Melbourne.
Speaking at the press conference held here at the Gaddafi Stadium after his arrival from the ICC annual conference, Sethi said: "We would have been left isolated and gone bankrupt in two years had we not approved the revamp," Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi told media on return from Australia. We get the most revenues when we play with India and if all goes well we are set to earn $300 million from the four series we host against India."
Sethi added Pakistan had bolstered its position in the ICC after he was elected to the body's five-member executive committee at the conference, which he believed would earn his country the remainder. "Pakistan have been included in the executive committee of the ICC for one year, with India, Australia and England as the permanent members, which means we will be at the forefront of most of the decisions," said Sethi. "I can say with confidence that in the next eight year cycle we will get $150 million from the ICC," he said, bringing total takings to $450 million. This compares to Pakistan receiving $10 million per year from the ICC in the last seven years, Sethi added.
The first of the series with India is scheduled for December next year, to be hosted by Pakistan but likely played in the United Arab Emirates for security reasons.
"The agreement is now on paper and I hope that the day will also come when PMs (prime ministers) of both the countries clear it, then the two countries will also play in Pakistan. But at the moment it is not possible," Sethi added. International cricket in Pakistan has been suspended since March 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus, leaving eight people dead and seven visiting players injured.
But Sethi said there would be no compensation if India does not play due to non-clearance from New Delhi. "There was no compensation before, there is none now. This is not the norm in mutual series when government does not give permission." Sethi also said banned paceman Mohammad Aamer will be able to play domestic cricket before his worldwide ban expires in August next year.
"The ICC committee will finalise changes in the anti-corruption code in October this year after which the PCB will submit an application on relaxing the ban on Aamer and in the last year of his ban Aamer will be able to play domestic cricket to get ready for the international matches," said Sethi. Aamer was banned for five years on charges of spot-fixing during the Lord's Test against England in 2010. Then-Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were also banned for a minimum of five years in the same case.