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Najam Sethi hints at Pakistan Cricket Board supporting ICC’s revamp plan

PCB chief Najam Sethi said that Pakistan needed to play against India regularly © AFP
PCB chief Najam Sethi said that Pakistan needed to play against India regularly © AFP

Karachi: Mar 10, 2014

In an apparent change of stance, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has given enough hints that it would support the controversial International Cricket Council (ICC) revamp plan mainly piloted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to look after the country’s interest and get benefits by playing series against India.

PCB chief Najam Sethi said Pakistan, the only Test playing nation left against the controversial radical changes in the governance of world cricket body, will make its position clear at the ICC meeting next month.

“We have to keep politics away from this issue. We have to now see why nine countries are on one side and we are standing alone in this issue. I don’t think this is about principles, it is about safeguarding our own self interests in the long run in world cricket,” Shethi said.

The PCB chief, who met his Bangladesh and Sri Lankan counterparts on the sidelines of the Asia Cup 2014 in Dhaka, said all other countries had managed to get their benefits by supporting the governance and financial model changes in the ICC piloted by India, England and Australia.

“We are the only ones now left alone and whoever I have spoken to, says they also initially opposed the changes but later went with it because they were gaining a lot by supporting these changes,” he said.

Sethi said while Pakistan would be able to play bilateral series with all the other Test-playing nations but it needed to play against India regularly.

“The fact is every country wants to play India because they say it brings them much needed revenues. It is a fact that not playing cricket with India is damaging for us,” he said.

Interestingly, Pakistan was represented by Zaka Ashraf at both the ICC executive board meetings in which the governance changes were made. Ashraf was last month replaced by Sethi on the orders of the Prime Minister.

“I didn’t attend these two important ICC meetings but I have been briefed in detail on what took place in them and I have also spoken to other boards to try to understand what really happened,” he said.

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