LAHORE - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar M Khan has said that Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is awaiting the permission of recently-elected government of PM Narendra Modi to hold the bilateral series.
Talking to the reporters here at Gaddafi Stadium on Monday, Shaharyar said that the BCCI was ready to honour the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two boards, however, they were waiting for the approval of their ‘newly-elected government’.
“The BCCI had earlier stated that it would inform the PCB regarding resumption of Pakistan-India series and we will be contacting them soon to get latest up-date on it.” He said the PCB has plan B, in case, the Pak-India series does not materializes but refused to reveal the details of other options.
The PCB chairman termed the legal dispute between India’s cricketing body and Ten Sports another hurdle in the way of holding the home series in Pakistan. However, the International Cricket Council (ICC) was striving to resolve the dispute between the two parties.
“Once this issue is resolved, and we hope it will in coming weeks, then political environment between Pakistan and India will decide the fate of cricketing ties of the two neighbours,” the PCB chief said and added: “We are cricket board, we obviously can’t interfere in government affairs but we want to see a green light from the Indian government soon.” Commenting over revival of international cricket in Pakistan, Shahryar said that overall security situation of the country was getting better with the passage of each day and hoped that the things would be better in the next six months.
He said most of the teams prefer playing in Lahore and consider visiting Karachi a security risk. “A number of associate members of ICC including Oman, Hong Kong, Ireland and Scotland were ready to visit Pakistan and have asked Pakistan’s future cricket commitments. We will be informing them regarding a window in two-week time. Ireland team wants to play with Pakistan national side not with our A team,” he added.
Shaharyar said that the PCB was in touch with the International Cricket Council (ICC) as far as resumption of international cricket is concerned in Pakistan. “The ICC task force on revival of international cricket in Pakistan is seriously working on it and it has assured that Pakistan will be having international ties in its own backyard in due course of time,” he said.
“We won’t pressurize full-member teams to visit Pakistan following a successful Zimbabwe tour, however, there are indications that some Test sides like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are considering it,” he added.
The PCB chairman also talked about ineffectiveness of a task force formed by the ICC for the revival of international cricket in Pakistan. He said in his recently-concluded visit to the United Kingdom, he spoke with Giles Clark, the chairman of the task force, who, he said, has assured him about bringing an international team to Pakistan. “Clark said the team would play at three venues including Karachi and Lahore and any other place proposed by the PCB.”
Commenting on the Pakistan Super League (PSL), Shahryar said that holding the first season of T20 tournament at home would not be feasible as big names of the game were still reluctant in visiting the country. “The launching the tournament in the UAE or Qatar was the best available option at the moment,” he added.
The PCB chairman reiterated its pledge to keep Pakistan cricket away from politics with the implementation of performance based culture in the selection of players in the national team. To a query, he said that he was initially surprised with the exclusion of Safraz Ahmed from the Twenty20 team against Sri Lanka but later discovered that the wicketkeeper batsman was dropped not based on any politics as the team management was trying a new combination for the buildup of the team.
Answering to another query, he rated Younus Khan as a great cricketer who still had a lot of cricket left in him as he was fit enough compared to a number of young players. “I think Younus can decide his retirement himself as he is still giving his best.”