LAHORE - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will follow the decision of its patron-in-chief, Prime Minister, M Nawaz Sharif regarding resumption of Pakistan-India bilateral cricket series and participation of Pakistan team in the upcoming T20 World Cup to be hosted by India next year.

PCB chairman Shaharyar M Khan said this while addressing a press conference after a meeting of PCB Board of Governors here at the National cricket Academy (NCA) on Tuesday. “As far the Prime Minister’s statement is concerned on playing India, we assure him that we will fully follow the decision he would take,” he said.

“The matter of Pakistan-India series was put up at the meeting and the governing board members were of the view that Pakistan should not visit India to play the series there as it was the turn of Pakistan to host and that is why PCB has proposed United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the venue for the series,” he said.

PCB chairman said India under the MOU was bound to play series at the UAE and urged the Indian cricket board to honour the MOU it had signed with the PCB in this regard. “There is no issue including security in the UAE and there is no justification on part of India to back out of its earlier commitment to play Pakistan at a neutral venue,” he added.

He has dispelled an impression that the PCB will become bankrupt if India doesn’t play Pakistan as Pakistan-India series guarantees huge profit. “It is a sour reality that Pakistan has not played bilateral series with India for the last eight years and even then they are running the PCB in a good manner despite suffering enormous financial loss due to suspension of cricket events between the two neighbouring countries.”

“If we do not play India for one more year, nothing will happen and our cricket will continue. If the series does not take place, we will continue suffering huge financial loss like before but we will take every measure in the larger interest of our national cricket by reducing our budget to fifty percent and carrying out downing sizing in the setup of PCB,” he added.

The PCB chairman made it clear that the PCB would take every measure to reduce its expenses and it was ready to give sacrifice for the sake of national cricket and the country. “In case the series does not materialize, we will be suffering loss to the tune of fifty percent of our full budget and we have other options ahead of us to come up with amended budget to adopt austerity measures to decrease our overall expenses,” he added.

PCB chairman defended the earlier decision of the board for extending support to Big3 in the International Cricket Council (ICC) as in return it gained edge by getting the Pak-India series through an MOU signed between the two countries.”

To a query, he replied: “If Pak-India series does not take place then PCB will announce its plan B which has other options to earn revenue.

He said Test cricketers Misbahul Haq and Younus Khan have been included in the Board of Directors cricket committee to serve Pakistan cricket through their expertise in the game.

Shaharyar said Pakistan Super League (PSL) would take place as per the schedule next year at the UAE but it would not be a profit earning venture in its first year. “No league in the world earns profit in its inaugural year and we are confident to earn decent amount of money in its coming years,” he concluded.

Earlier, the 38h PCB Board of Governors meeting was held here at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) under the chairmanship of Shaharyar Khan. The meeting was attended by PCB Executive Committee chairman Najam Sethi, Zafar Mehmood of Wapda, Cricket Committee chairman Shakil Ahmed Shaikh, Gul Zada of Peshawar Region, Mansoor Masood Khan of UBL, Professor Ejaz Ahmed Faruqi of Karachi Region, Maj (R) Naeem Akhtar Gillani of Rawalpindi Region, Muneer Kamal of NBP, Amjad Latif of SNGPL and IPC secretary Ameer Tariq Zaman. PCB COO Subhan Ahmad, CFO Badar Manzoor Khan, Director Media & Coordination Amjad Hussain and secretary to the board Salman Naseer were also present there.

Coordination Committee for PCB Strategic Plan chairman Zafar Mehmood apprised the members about work done in order to finalize the implementation details of the plan. Heads of respective sub-committees of the coordination committee will submit final plans within one month.

In a bid to support women’s cricket in Pakistan, the Board of Governors has decided to approve, support and encourage women’s teams from various institutions.

A committee, to be headed by Maj (R) Naeem Akhtar Gillani, was formed in order to advise on game development. Shakil Shaikh, Gul Zada, Director Game Development Aizad Syed and General Manager women’s wing Shamsa Hashmi will be members of this committee.

The Board of Governors also congratulated the Pakistan cricket team and team management on winning the recently-concluded Test series against England.