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PCB agrees conditionally to ICC revamp

Umar Farooq

April 11, 2014

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Najam Sethi, the interim PCB chief, addresses a press conference, Lahore, June 24, 2013
Najam Sethi: "If we don't play big teams we could be bankrupt in the next two years" © AFP
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The PCB has agreed to the proposed ICC revamp on the condition that it will be a part of bilateral series against all Full Members, including India, over the next eight years. The PCB's chairman justified his move, reasoning that Pakistan can't afford to be isolated from the rest of cricketing world, most of which had agreed to the wide-ranging changes suggested.

The PCB, according to its chairman, will gain estimated Rs 30 billion (around $310m) in next eight years from the bilateral agreements.

"Decision was made after sensing an isolation," Sethi told a media conference at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. "If we don't play big teams we could be bankrupt in the next two years so we have to stay in line and play our home series with India. Because our infrastructure is mainly run with the money generated playing international cricket, it's very important to play India because it generate major chunk of money. We have to run our cricket and we can't sit out being isolated. Hence we had to go with them but we signed with all legal binding documents and the details of all fixtures will be released soon."

Sethi has also revealed that the world governing board have asked PCB to nominate a candidate from Pakistan for the ceremonial role of ICC president next year.

The PCB is the last Full Member to have extended its support to the governance, finance and FTP changes in the ICC, which were proposed by the BCCI, the ECB and Cricket Australia in February. When the changes, which increase the power of those three boards within the ICC, were first proposed, four Full Members had come out against them: the PCB, the Bangladesh Cricket Board, Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). The proposals have since been revised and were approved by eight of the Full Members on February 8. SLC and the PCB were the only two to refrain from voting at that meeting, and SLC extended its support to the revamp 10 days later.

The PCB had been opposing the position paper right from the start, citing that the revamp is against the principle of "equality" and had been objecting the proposal as whole. "Since January we understand that various factors have been toned down but we lost the ground and our position was weak enough to crumble but PCB stood hard and we managed to get more than enough. I am happy that we are back in business otherwise nobody was ready to talk to Pakistan and they were chalking their own bilateral tour with the exception of Pakistan cricket."

Since July 2013, Pakistan have been without a long-term broadcasting deal, one of the major sources of income for the PCB. With no series scheduled against India until 2020, there could be testing times for the board ahead which is already dealing with a long-standing budget-deficit. In August 2013, the deficit was nearly 500 million Pakistani rupees.

"Now PCB is in a position to go with a long-term deal next year and we have estimated an amount of Rs. 30 billions with our home series after every board have assured a slot in next eight-year cycle. Apart from the broadcasting rights we will be getting a share of ICC tournament, which has been increased from 0.3 to 1.3 per cent. So at the end of the day we have good news for our cricket."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (April 13, 2014, 9:06 GMT)

Even if ICC agree on these terms there is no assurance that series with every country will take place. In the new big three format ICC have a little role in organising bilateral series between two countries. Bilateral series will depend on two countries own priorities and profits stream and if they don't see any profits playing with Pakistan they can easily refuse the series without any penalty.

Posted by Ilyasturi on (April 13, 2014, 8:33 GMT)

nothing as such will happen. Pakistan cricket seems to be finished in next 4 to 5 years, as India will not all to give them series with bigger teams. lets hope for the best.

Posted by anupkeni on (April 13, 2014, 6:54 GMT)

Test matches between India and Pakistan will most likely end in tame draws because both teams will struggle to pick up 20 wickets against each other unless the pitch is a square turner.

Posted by NomiJ on (April 13, 2014, 5:57 GMT)

Mr. Sethi is a wise man. And Pak cricket family should be happy to have him. Mr. Sethi should have also requested 3 to include Pak players in IPL format. Their inclusion is good for cricket.

Posted by HealthyCric on (April 13, 2014, 5:49 GMT)

Well its NOT a surprise of the century.

Posted by Puffin on (April 13, 2014, 0:12 GMT)

I don't think the PCB had any other choice other than go along with the deal agreed by the big 3. This is the future direction of cricket, like it or not. The principle of "equality" sounds nice but is impossible in practice. They've made themselves dependent on India (and the other big 2) because nobody else has the pulling power to keep them afloat.

Posted by   on (April 12, 2014, 21:02 GMT)

Guys wake up to the reality of the present world. This is 'professional' sports. That means everyone needs to earn enough money. All the other patronising nonsense comes last. Look at USA. Sports like American Football and Baseball have an almost 100% internal market and those who play these games are professional sportsmen. Like any profession, the more money you offer, the more opportunity you will have to attract the best people and see the best competition. One should not ask why this is happening to cricket but why it has taken so long? India has the largest middle class in the world and cricket is our religion. Now that multinationals have seen the opportunity, money will keep pouring in and it will transform the cricket landscape beyond recognition. Other countries cannot replicate the same, because they don't have the numbers. Simple. Cricket is finally being liberated from its national boundaries. it is about time. It is inevitable. Get on board or choose another game.

Posted by   on (April 12, 2014, 19:15 GMT)

Is the game bigger or the monopoly?

Posted by stormy16 on (April 12, 2014, 12:06 GMT)

There is something fundermentally wrong when a team has to beg and plead to get a game. Yes I understand that everyone is at the mercy of India but surely India cannot use that advantage like the rich kid at school. The money is important but more so is the sport and competition and if these two critical values are compromised (as they are now) the sport will suffer and eventually the money will be less.

Posted by ICCexpert.... on (April 12, 2014, 11:03 GMT)

Drop Misbah, hafeez, Maik, Kamran and Gul. Make Afrdi captain, and include players like, Harris Sohail, Hammad Azam, Raza Hassan, Zafar Gohar and Kamran Ghulam. WC 2015 is for youngsters not for old guns.

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