PCB Anuual General Meeting held: Zaka positive about Indo-Pak ties
LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Zaka Ashraf said on Tuesday he was ‘positive’ about reviving stalled cricket ties with India, following President Asif Ali Zardari’s weekend trip to New Delhi.
“We are quite positive about the revival of cricketing ties with India after our president took the initiative,” Zaka told reporters after the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the PCB at Pearl Continental Hotel. “It was a good move to invite the Indian premier to Pakistan and I am sure that it will help in moving forward,” Zaka added.
Pakistan and India are slated to play in 2012 in the ICC’s Future Tours Programme, but India’s already hectic schedule makes this difficult even if there is a thaw in relations. The arch-rivals met in the Asia Cup last month and the World Cup semi-final in India last year, but regular tours have been frozen since the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. India postponed a tour to Pakistan scheduled for January 2009 in the wake of the Mumbai carnage before suspending all sporting links. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had lunch with Zardari on Sunday and said he would consider reviving what is one of the most hotly-contested rivalries in cricket.
Zaka warns Bangladesh: Zaka warned Bangladesh that sporting ties with the country could be threatened if Dhaka refuses an invitation to tour the troubled country. The PCB has invited Bangladesh to play a limited-overs series this month, but the tour is subject to clearance from the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. International cricket has been suspended in Pakistan since a deadly terror attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009. Zaka said he was hopeful Bangladesh would come, but warned them of consequences if they refused. “I think we will have to reconsider our relationship with Bangladesh if they don’t tour us, but I hope such a situation will not come,” Zaka said.
Annual General Meeting: The AGM was held under the chair of Zaka. 112 members, including presidents of district cricket associations, regional presidents, representatives of departments, chairperson women’s wing and Pakistan Blind and Deaf Cricket Association, were in attendance at the meeting. Five former PCB chairmen also attended the meeting in their capacity as honorary members.
The agenda of the second AGM under the current constitution consisted of four points: approval of the minutes of last AGM (held in 2011), to consider the Annual Report 2011 and future programmes as devised by the PCB governing council, to consider the audited accounts and budget estimates and to make appropriate recommendations to the governing council for the promotion of cricket in Pakistan. All items were discussed in a candid manner by the members and the requisite approvals were granted after detailed deliberations on each point. Former chairmen – Khalid Mahmood, Zafar Altaf, Lt Gen (r) Tauqir Zia, Sheharyar Mohammad Khan and Ijaz Butt – gave a most decent input. Though the words differed, the views of all five were unanimous on three counts. All five individually appreciated and acknowledged the most noticeable upsurge and consistency in the team’s performance in recent months. They were all praise for the board’s endeavours to bring back international cricket to Pakistan and also the PCB’s policies and management.
Members coming from all parts of the country took this opportunity to discuss the initiatives they were taking in their respective areas and the problems they were facing in their quest to promote cricket. Zaka assured the delegates that the PCB would do everything in its capacity to help and promote the sport.