LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) governing council has strongly opposed the move to revamp the global game and called it ‘neither in line with principle of equity nor in the interest of game of cricket.’ The announcement came after its meeting, presided by PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf, who had been present at the International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Dubai last week to discuss the radical proposals which will give the ‘Big Three’ countries – India, Australia and England – a larger portion of ICC revenues and more of a say in the game’s administration.
“The council members deliberated and expressed serious concerns on the model proposed by BCCI, ECB and CA which was neither in line with principle of equity nor in the interest of game of cricket,” PCB chairman Zaka told reporters after the meeting. “The council has reiterated the position that the PCB chairman request audience with the patron of the PCB, the Prime Minister, to apprise him on this matter of immense significance and of national interest which will have wide reaching impact on future of cricket in Pakistan.” Zaka said last week that he wanted all decisions to be taken through consensus, and didn’t want the proposals to be approved hastily. “The PCB council appreciated and supported the stance taken by me at the last ICC meeting at Dubai. The council authorised me and chief executive officer Subhan Ahmad to engage with other ICC board members to align the common position and take other requisite remedial measures in the interest of cricket in Pakistan,” Zaka added.
After the Dubai meeting, the ICC had said its executive board ‘unanimously supported’ a set of principles which were more or less along the lines of the original proposal, though there were some concessions granted to the members outside the ‘Big Three’. The proposals had not been voted on in that meeting, but could be at the next ICC meeting in Singapore on February 8. Zaka termed the formation of the ‘Big Three’ in the ICC for the game which was facing a big threat from it. “The formation of the ‘Big Three’ is a dictatorial decision which is harmful for the world cricket and what we want is that the decisions on important cricket issues should not be taken under the influence of the trio. He said cricket control should not be given to the “Big Three’ and decisions should be unanimous with the mutual understanding among the affiliated Test playing members. “With pressure coming from different countries, the ‘Big Three’ stance is now softening and we will continue our efforts to make it appropriate for all the member countries by having equal representation in different committees,” he said.
The PCB stance comes after Pakistan cricket legend Imran Khan on Friday blasted the proposals, saying they would take the game back to the days of colonialism. No international cricket has been played in Pakistan since 2009, when militants attacked the visiting Sri Lankan team, and Imran has warned the new proposals would hit his home country hardest. South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are now the only three of the ten ICC full members who are still against the plan, which needs approval from eight of the ten ICC members.
To a question, Zaka said a new coach of the national team would be named on February 6. “The most suitable candidate will be selected on the recommendations of the committee set up to accomplish the task keeping in view the needs of our cricket and team,” he added. He said the PCB would conduct an inquiry to ascertain the facts in the incident of Test player Umar Akmal who was locked up in a police station following a brawl with a traffic warden.
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