Zaka Ashraf wants consensus before ICC decision
Zaka Ashraf, the PCB chairman, has said the ICC was looking to get resolutions that would shake up the world game approved "hastily". He said the PCB and several other boards managed to hold off the Big Three for the benefit of cricket. He insisted he wasn't against any of the proposals but wanted all decisions to be taken through consensus, with every member board taken in confidence.
Ashraf was speaking after returning from the ICC meeting in Dubai, where proposals by India, England and Australia over the governance and the finances of cricket were discussed. No final decision was taken on the proposals which would give those three countries a larger share of ICC revenues and more of a say in running the game.
The ICC, though, said it had "unanimous support" over "principles" which were similar to what the Big Three originally proposed. Ashraf has called for an emergency meeting of the PCB's board of governors to discuss the issue.
"At the moment, we have stopped the Big Three," Zaka Ashraf said at a press conference in Lahore. "This was our strategy, not to do it in haste and to stop it. It's our wish that whatever decision be taken it should be with consensus, but unfortunately they brought it so hurriedly that few members were on one side and the others were on the other side. I think the first thing was to stop it in which we have succeeded and now we will see what the next strategy should be. We have also got time to consult our board."
The PCB, according to Ashraf, is far from accepting the proposals for the restructuring of the ICC though it had been offered the same amount of money from future ICC events as they currently earn. He however didn't divulge any specific reason why Pakistan is opposing the resolution.
"If we were in favour we would have given our vote but cricket will be destroyed if we go after the money. When we took the stand, the four countries (Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) , we wanted to have some time to think about it. We are not against anything, we want all the ICC members to develop consensus and move forward together. But if there's anything, which is against the interest of our country or cricket, we were against it."
The Bangladesh Cricket Board was one of the four boards that Ashraf claimed were against the proposals, but on Wednesday it accepted the revised proposals for the restructure of the ICC after securing assurance that its Test status will not be revoked. Apart from Pakistan, it is understood that South Africa and Sri Lanka have sought time to study the revised paper.
"Bangladesh has left, they must have seen their interest, but we have to see if it's a short-term gain or a long-term gain, we will also see what is good for our board and for our country.
"It's a matter of calculation. The three countries have raised their share according to the new formula and they have given us surety that whatever we are getting it won't be reduced (from what we are receiving now). We will have a board meeting on Monday in which we will give briefing to all the members and that's the normal procedure with all the other cricket boards.
"We didn't form a group in the ICC, everywhere in the world this new formula had faced criticism and faced a very strong reaction. We also stood firm against it, we have to stand firm on rules, but we also have to look after the interest of the cricket board and the country. They (Big Three) have ensured that whatever money we are getting it won't be reduced, they are dropping lots of clauses with every passing day, let's see what happens."
Ashraf revealed that the BCCI offered to play a series against Pakistan. The two countries haven't played a Test series since 2007, and limited-over matches between the two, which are highly lucrative, have also been reduced due to political tensions. "The BCCI offered all the cricket boards and they offered us a lot too. Since they haven't played our home series in last seven years, we definitely needed a guarantee. Although they have assured a bankable document, we have to look into how sincere they are with their proposition."
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here