ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi termed himself saviour of Pakistan cricket and described his meeting with International Cricket Council (ICC) and other board members in Melbourne, Australia as highly successful.
Speaking at the Iftar dinner hosted by Islamabad Cricket Association (ICA) in his honor on Tuesday, Sethi said: “The PCB just has two-year revenues left. If I didn’t take decision in the best interest of the country and its cricket, after two years, we don't have money to even conduct domestic cricket. Rs 1000 million are required every year to conduct domestic cricket in the country.”
“I have already convinced the ICC Big-3 when I met them previously, but due to court orders, Zaka Ashraf took over the helm of affairs and due to his poor planning, Pakistan was left alone. We had no option but I managed to win lost battle for Pakistan cricket. Everything was already distributed among the Big-3 and their supporters, but due to my careful handling, I managed to convince Big-3 to reconsider their stance,” he said.
“Now, Pakistan is occupying No 4 spot, which was previously given to South Africa. We will get lime share of finances after Big-3 and ICC presidentship will also be given to Pakistan. Besides, I also managed to get a spot in the powerful executive committee,” he added.
“Before I left for Australia, I had detailed meeting with four former PCB chairmen including Shaharyar Khan, Tauqeer Zia, Ijaz Butt and Khalid Mehmood. They advised me to plead Pakistan case strongly and do whatever I could to get maximum favours for the country. I then met with different ICC members and took on board BCCI, as I was fully aware it is only India, which could create problems for Pakistan and if I managed to win their support, the mission would be relatively easier,” he stated.
“I also met with Big-3 and convinced them that without Pakistan team, which is currently at No 3 in ICC rankings, cricket will not be the same. I think the biggest achievement of the PCB is binding of six bilateral series between India and Pakistan. Both the boards agreed in principal to start series subject to government approval and this is included in the minutes of the meeting. It is also agreed in the bidding that both the countries will play bilateral series at agreed venue, which means if India agree to play in Pakistan, then the series can be held here or in UAE. England is also a proposed venue, but it is very costly, so we can play in Scotland or Ireland, which are relatively cheaper,” he added.
To a query regarding future of Pakistan Super League (PSL), Sethi replied: “Millions of rupees were wasted on the PSL, but at the end, the entire project was scraped. We have made all the ground work and hopefully, the PSL will be launched in January next year in UAE.”
“The ICC in principal has agreed anti-corruption rules need to be amended. Now M Aamir will benefit a great deal from the changes in rules. I am quite confident he will start playing domestic cricket later this year,” he believed.
To another query, Sethi replied: “New PCB constitution is ready and we have sent the constitution to the PCB patron. Now it is up to him when he is going to sign. As far as becoming board chairman, I have not made up my mind. If the PM insists me, I will decide my future course of action. The new PCB constitution will ensure no behind the door changes, no corruption and only those persons can get the chairmanship, who have ability and complete knowledge about running such a high-profile office,” Sethi concluded.