KARACHI: The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Ehsan Mani has said that it is Pakistan’s right to participate in ICC events and the BCCI should facilitate Pakistan team for the mega events scheduled in India.
Talking to this correspondent in an interview on a private TV channel, Mani said that the matter of Pakistan’s participation in the ICC events, scheduled in India, came under discussion during the ICC meetings. “We have got categoric assurance from the BCCI in ICC meetings that Pakistan would be provided visa to travel to India for the upcoming mega events, but we have asked for written confirmation by the year end,” said Mani.
“These will be ICC events and Pakistan has the right to be part of them,” Mani added while expressing some doubts over the possibility of World Cup getting staged in India next year due to the current COVID-19 graph in India.
“I don’t know if India could even hold the events or not because of the Covid graph in the country,” said Mani.
The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2021 has been assigned to India while the country is also scheduled to host the 50-over mega event in 2023.
On Pakistan cricket issues, the PCB chairman was of the opinion that the foundation needed to be fixed for consistent performances like Australia and England etc.
“We have done a lot of work already by revamping the first class structure. But it is at the high level only. In the next step you will see lower tiers with 16 teams in each regions along with clubs and school cricket structure in place,” disclosed the PCB chief.
On Misbah-ul-Haq’s role, the chairman said after evaluation, it was realised that along with his duties with the national side, keeping an eye on the domestic cricket activity would not be humanly possible for Misbah. Therefore it was a mutual decision to relieve Misbah from the chief selector’s responsibility.
Ehsan Mani, while recalling his vow to initiate legislation process to curb the menace of corruption from Cricket, said that on PCB’s part the process has almost been completed and the document is now with the ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) for weighing before going to the law ministry.
“No doubt Iqbal Muhammad Ali (MNA & member of the National Assembly standing committee) has done a lot in this regard and when he will see PCB’s draft, he will find his points incorporated,” said Mani. “We are on the same page that corruption should be rooted out from sports and corruptor should also be nabbed.”
Ehsan Mani said that parliamentarians had a right to oversee the PCB matters, they can ask questions and the PCB would respond accordingly.
PCB’s financial matters, he said, are transparent with proper audits and details are published on the official website.
Commenting on recent reports of PCB’s differences with the Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchises in the press, Mani said that the financial model should be viable for all stakeholders. “We have shared a few proposals with PSL franchises in last interactions and we will look into their suggestions in the meetings ahead,” said Mani.
On the broadcast and production deal the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that unfortunately due to the shortage of skilled and trained professionals, the PCB has to look abroad for production but the board is now looking forward to building the capacity of local technicians.
Responding to a question regarding the possible extension to the chief executive officer Wasim Khan, the PCB chief said it will be reviewed at an appropriate time.
“Every senior manager at the PCB go through an appraisal and Wasim Khan will be assessed as well when the time comes. He has worked very well in his tenure thus far, Pakistan’s image domestically and internationaly has enhanced during his time”, Mani said
“We work as a team but such decisions are taken by the Board of Governors. There is still time in hand therefore this is not the right time to speculate anything in this regard,” concluded Mani.
Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2020