Pak says cricket world is worried

PCB chairman Ashraf says Boards concerned at proposed ICC revamp.

New Delhi: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Muhammad Zaka Ashraf on Tuesday said that he and most other Boards were “concerned” about a revolutionary proposal to restructure the International Cricket Council (ICC) and which would give immense power to the BCCI, Australia and England cricket boards.

Ashraf also disclosed that BCCI president N Srinivasan called him two days ago to know his opinion on the draft of the proposal, and that the two would take up the issue again at a crucial ICC executive board meeting on January 28-29 in Dubai.

“The PCB is concerned about it. Actually, it’s not just the PCB, but all the boards are concerned. I’ve been getting calls from all over the world [of the national Boards]. I hope all goes well,” Ashraf, who was last week reinstated as PCB chairman by an Islamabad court, told Mail Today from Pakistan.

BCCI, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA) have prepared a 21-page draft, called a ‘Position Paper on ICC/IDI Group Structure, Governance, Financial Model, Bilateral, and ICC Events’.

It also proposes relocation of the ICC headquarters — to possibly Singapore, Cardiff or Colombo; or remaining in Dubai — renaming ICC Development International (IDI) as ICC Business Co. and formation of a new executive committee, amongst other financial advantages proposed, especially for the BCCI.

Cricket South Africa (CSA), which is at loggerheads with the BCCI, has termed the proposal as “fundamentally flawed” and has asked the ICC to “withdraw” it while the West Indies Board could not finalise its stand on Monday. It’ll again discuss it on Wednesday. Only New Zealand Cricket has supported the proposal so far.

Ashraf said that the PCB board of governors expressed concern at a meeting on Saturday in Lahore.

“We have not decided our stand on the draft. But this proposal was one thing that all the members were concerned about. They wanted to know what the repercussions of this proposal would be, if it was implemented,” he said.

“They’ve asked me to discuss this with the other Boards, including the BCCI, in Dubai.”

Ashraf, who struck an immediate rapport with Srinivasan during his first meeting with him when invited for the 2012 IPL final, calling him “bade bhai”, said the BCCI president telephoned him two days ago. “He congratulated me on being back as the PCB chairman. He also asked me about my opinion on the draft proposal. I told him that since I’ve just returned, I didn’t get time to check the details. I told him we’ll discus it in Dubai,” he informed.

Ashraf indicated that the ideal way for the BCCI would have been to take the PCB too into confidence. “India and Pakistan are the biggest cricket-playing nations in Asia, and it’s my wish that they remain together. We should cement our relations, so that our bilateral series is not affected,” he said.

“Mr Srinivasan too told me that now that I’m back in the PCB, the two nations could revive cricket relations. He said that there were a lot of things he wanted to discuss with me.”

Asked if he would like Pakistani players to be part of the IPL auction next month, Ashraf said that the BCCI was the best placed to answer that. Pakistani players have appeared in IPL only once, in 2008.

“It is up to the BCCI to invite our players. If they do, we’ll cooperate with them. Our best wishes are with the Indian nation. I expect India and Pakistan to play on each other’s soil, much like we did in December 2012 when we toured India,” he said, referring to the last time between the teams.

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Yahoo Cricket | Photo by Stringer / Anthony Au-Yeung
Wed 22 Jan, 2014 4:30 PM IST


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