ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistan Test player Sarfraz Nawaz lauded PCB Chairman Najam Sethi for landing Pakistan 4th position after Big 3 in ICC.

“It is a great achievement of Sethi, Pakistan was in dire situation as previous chairman failed to land Pakistan any significant position. But to the great credit of Sethi, he not only win that position for the country, but also managed to get a place in the ICC executive committee and that committee sanctions all the recommendations made by ICC.

Sarfraz Nawaz expressed these views during an exclusive interview with The Nation on Sunday. He completely rubbished some certain circles who claim Sethi failed to get anything from the ICC. He said they must check ICC’s official website and the entire situation will be clarified and these rumours were only spread by some anti-state elements and previous chairman Zaka Ashraf as all these rumors had nothing to do with reality.

Sarfraz said another major development was witnessed during the meeting that all the future programmes of ICC till 2023 were approved and Pakistan got six bilateral series with archrivals India, out of which four would be held on Pakistan's preferred venues and two in India. “I will soon met with PCB chairman and suggest him to include England as neutral venue and organise Pak-India series there. The ECB in the past had offered their venues to conduct not only Pak-India matches but also Pakistan had played home series against Australia in England.”

He said we enjoyed excellent relations with the ECB, who in the time of need had offered their venues to Pakistan team but Ijaz Butt was the main culprit as he destroyed Pak-ECB close relations by leveling baseless allegations against English players and later he had to take back his words but it was too little too late. “I am sure the ECB will not disappoint the PCB and will offer their venues where Pakistan could host not only Pak-India series but also other series as well.”

He comes down hard on few players, who are reluctant to sign central contracts and putting unwanted pressure on the PCB and especially chairman Sethi on tax issue. “It is nothing to do with the PCB or Sethi. These players should hire a lawyer and settle issues with the FBR, as FBR has made some certain changes as far as tax network is concerned. These players should use common sense instead of pressure tactics.”

He said revival of Pak-India bilateral series would be in great benefit to both countries. “It would help players understand each other well and could also play a very crucial role in bringing the governments of both countries together. Same people are talking against Sethi, who were close to previous chairman Zaka Ashraf, why they remained silent in the past. They should have played their role in helping Pakistan cricket when Pakistan was facing international isolation. If Sethi doesn't use commonsense, there was real danger that Pakistan may be deprived of any sort of international cricket,” Sarfraz concluded.