KARACHI, Sept 3: The Sri Lankan Cricket Board has demanded $1 million from Pakistan to send its team for the unscheduled one-Day series in South Africa.
Pakistan is trying to organise a tri-series with Sri Lanka in South Africa to make up for the postponement of the Champions Trophy in Pakistan which was to be held from September 12.
Sources said Pakistan had offered a fee of $300,000 to the cash strapped Sri Lankan Board to take part in the tri-series but the Islanders demanded $1 million for the contest.
“The interesting thing is that even the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is facing a financial crunch and is not in a position to shell out a huge sum of one million dollars for just one series,” sources said.
“Pakistan is now trying to first rope in the sponsors and broadcasters for the series and have asked them to up their prices to meet Sri Lanka’s demand,” the sources added.
However, it is not only the monetary hurdles but the internal administrative problems which the PCB is countering in orgainsing the series. “The fact that the Pakistan board is presently operating without a chairman has not helped matters,” one source said. “Obviously, before committing such a huge amount to the Sri Lankans, the board officials have to get the approval of the international cricket committee and the governing body members.”
Meanwhile, it is being said that internal bickering in the South African Cricket may put an end to PCB’s hopes of conducting a tri-series in the African nation.
According to the sources in the PCB, the big shots of the South African Union and Cricket South Africa are at loggerheads with each other and their difference of opinion on the proposed series could actually kill the possibility of the having the tournament.
“While the President of the South African Cricket Union has assured the Pakistan board that such a series is possible, the chief executive, Gerald Majola and the players think otherwise,” one source said.
“Majola is also aware that the players are not keen at all on playing either a tri-series with Pakistan and Sri Lanka or even a bilateral series with Pakistan at home as they want a well-deserved break from the game. Majola has, infact, indicated that it would be better to consider scheduling a Twenty20 event,” the source added.
The PCB, however, continued to look for alternate options for providing international exposure to Pakistan team. “We are looking for various options for arranging Pakistan series in South Africa, Abu Dhabi and conducting 2-3-nation series in Pakistan,” Chief Operating Officer PCB Shafqat Naghmi told reporters on Wednesday after international committee meeting at local hotel.
He said PCB was looking for an open slot between September 18-30 to away tour or arranging something at home. He said participation in tri- series in South Africa was part of the options.
The International Cricket Committee’s meeting of the PCB was held under the Chairmanship of Ali Raza and was attended by Ijaz Butt, Lt.Gen (Rtd) Munir Hafiez, Shafqat Naghmi and Zakir Khan, a PCB press release said.
The objective was to review the situation arising as a consequence of the postponement of the Champions Trophy. “The management presented to the committee some of the options they were already working on, including an invitation received from the President, Cricket South Africa (CSA) to PCB.
The committee felt that it was very important for the players to play competitive international cricket at the highest level to demonstrate their form and fitness for future planned series, and hence the PCB is considering all possibilities.
The Committee was apprised by the management of the very short window of time available for arranging a tournament since most teams have international commitments from the beginning of October 2008, thereby leaving only about three weeks for arranging a tournament or a short series.—Agencies