LAHORE: Just three days before the Zimbabwe cricket team is scheduled to touch down in Islamabad for a three ODI and three T20I series, the Pakistan Cricket Board reiterated it has not paid any extra money to the visitors to undertake the FTP tour as was the case with them in 2015.
“The PCB paid Zimbabwe, a World XI and West Indies players between 2015 and 2018 to to tour Pakistan. We believe that was the right move then and was done to build confidence in the visiting players, the cricket boards and to help revive cricket in Pakistan.
“However, the PCB has moved on very quickly from this. It is now focusing on building, developing and strengthening trust, confidence and credibility in the eyes of the cricketing world,” PCB Chief Executive Officer Wasim Khan told the Associated Press of Pakistan in an exclusive interview here on Saturday..
“The need to entice international players to Pakistan by offering handsome financial rewards is now firmly behind us. Instead, the PCB will invest these valuable funds into our women’s cricket, upgrading our infrastructure, improving domestic and international player contracts and developing world-class coach education programmes,” said Wasim, a former first-class cricketer and a Warwick Business School graduate.
The PCB reportedly paid USD12,500 to each Zimbabwe player in 2015, while each member of the World XI received up to USD100,000 in 2017. The PCB also paid the West Indies side in excess of USD250,000 in 2018 to play three T20Is in Karachi. In addition, the ICC paid an independent security firm US$1.2million over three years as part of its contribution for the resumption of cricket in Pakistan.
But during the current PCB regime, Test cricket returned to Pakistan after 10 years with the visits of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh respectively while additionally, an MCC team toured Lahore last year after 48 years.
Furthermore, the hosting of 30 matches of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 at four Pakistan venues which featured 37 foreign players further consolidated the fact that Pakistan is as safe and as secure as any place in the world.
“The England and Wales Cricket Board’s positive intent of visiting Pakistan for a short three T20I series in January 2021 is a clear indictor that after the 2019-2020 season, international teams can feel very confident coming to Pakistan, fully aware that our safety and security provisions are robust and our hospitality remains second to none,” said Wasim.
“We have home series against Zimbabwe, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and England in the next two years. These series will surely provide the cricket fans and followers plenty of quality cricket, thrill and excitement, which will be extremely pleasing and satisfying for us,” concluded the 49-year-old CEO Wasim.
Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2020