LAHORE: Former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf believes the current regime of the board should start lobbying for the country’s interests as the hosts of the upcoming Asia Cup.
The tournament is scheduled to be held in September this year but its fate hangs in balance because of India’s refusal to tour Pakistan due to tense political relations between the two neighbours.
The PCB, led by its interim Management Committee chairman Najam Sethi, has proposed to the Asian Cricket Council a “hybrid model”, which will see India playing their matches at a neutral venue while the rest of the Asia Cup is held in Pakistan.
With even the “hybrid model” not completely certain to be adopted by the ACC, Zaka said the PCB should convince other cricketing nations of the continent to raise their voice for Pakistan.
“As the Asian Cricket Council’s Board has allocated the event to Pakistan, the board members should be taken into confidence against the Indian stance of not visiting Pakistan to participate,” Zaka told Dawn on Friday.
The 70-year-old said it was Sethi’s duty to safeguard the interests of Pakistan cricket in face of India’s stronghold in the sport’s politics as the strongest cricket board financially.
“All the board members of the ACC allocated the event to PCB then how they can take a u-turn just to please India,” he said.
“I think the PCB has a very strong case by offering India to play their matches of the Asia Cup at a neutral venue if they don’t want to come to Pakistan.”
Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2023
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