PCB agrees conditionally to ICC revamp
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