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'Pakistan cricket at lowest point' - Sethi

ESPNcricinfo staff

July 3, 2013

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Najam Sethi, the interim PCB chief, addresses a press conference, Lahore, June 24, 2013
Najam Sethi is hoping the ban imposed on Mohammad Amir will be relaxed by "at least 20%" © AFP
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The Pakistan Cricket Board's interim chairman Najam Sethi has said cricket in the country has reached its lowest point because of the recent string of defeats and the various controversies that have plagued it recently.

Pakistan lost all their three matches in the Champions Trophy last month, four of its cricketers have been banned on spot-fixing charges, teams have been refusing to tour Pakistan since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009, one of its international umpires - Nadeem Ghauri - has been banned on corruption charges and board president Zaka Ashraf has been suspended by the Islamabad High Court on the grounds of a "dubious" election.

"Our cricket has reached the lowest ground," Sethi said. "We are not winning matches. We are facing allegations of cheating with our players and an umpire being banned, and teams are refusing to tour, so we need to address all that."

Pakistan last hosted a series in March 2009, when a terrorist attack cut the Test series against Sri Lanka short. All Full Member nations have refused to tour the country since then on security grounds. However, Sethi said he is in talks with a few cricket boards and the ICC, and is hopeful of a positive result.

"Every country needs assurances on security, and until and unless we give them those they will not tour," he said. "I have talked to the England and West Indies boards regarding [them] sending unofficial teams, so that we can make a beginning. I have assured the ICC and other countries that a new government has taken over and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is determined to root out terrorism. Based on that they agreed to review our situation, provided things really improve.

"The maximum we can do is ask the ICC to review [the situation] after one year, but they demand assurances and demonstrable progress."

Four Test players - Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir and Danish Kaneria - are currently serving bans for their involvement in spot-fixing. Salman Butt apologised and confessed publicly recently, and a five-member ICC sub-committee has been formed to look into relaxing certain conditions of the five-year ban imposed on Amir. The committee was formed after the PCB had requested the ICC to consider a few concessions for the young, left-arm fast bowler. Sethi is hopeful that his ban will be relaxed.

"I have discussed Amir's ban with my colleagues in the PCB and we will soon hire a foreign lawyer in the UK to look at ways to get at least 20% relief for Amir," Sethi said. "I stressed that the international community needed to review his case and I am hopeful that Amir will get the relaxation."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by dmqi on (July 4, 2013, 5:47 GMT)

The first thing the new chairman should do is to change the selection team. It is very poor. Bring well known cricketers who know the game.

Posted by dmqi on (July 4, 2013, 5:45 GMT)

Amir should be allowed to play right now but Butt must be banned for his life.

Posted by Se-Cricket on (July 4, 2013, 0:23 GMT)

CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS POST These longer tours will allow the PCB to blood in new talent and test their abilities while the likes of Misbah, Younis, Afridi, Ajmal and Gul are still around to pass on some tips. If and when the things settle down, may be in 5 years or so -the PCB can come out and claim freedom from terrorism and host a player rewarding tournament where international cricketers would participate to make a lot of money. Only then can you open up the doors to international teams to visit Pakistan. Even then the PCB will have guarantee security and monetary incentives for the touring teams to visit Pakistan.

Posted by Se-Cricket on (July 4, 2013, 0:21 GMT)

PCB is the only professionally run sports organization in Pakistan and compared to other sports organizations in Pakistan the PCB is doing a great job. That said, in this day and age where Pakistan is embroiled in political mess of terrorism there is no way any country will visit Pakistan. Therefore the PCB should realize the situation and on its own declare that it is not going to have any international teams over until PCB has assurances from the government and its own security consultants that it is safe for international Cricket to return to Pakistan. PCB should not ask countries to visit Pakistan as they will not only decline but also create a perception that the PCB really is not interested in security but it is merely interested in getting someone to visit Pakistan. A unilateral moratorium from the PCB will indeed generate support from other boards who will not view PCB as adversarial in demanding team to visit Pakistan. MORE IN THE NEXT POST!

Posted by   on (July 3, 2013, 17:54 GMT)

Why do Pakistan team dont use the expreinces of Younus Khan and Mohammed Yousuf and likes of talent like Asim Kamal and Azhar Ali

Posted by   on (July 3, 2013, 17:18 GMT)

No this is wrong..i will not say 100% wrong but i will pick Amir and Salman case why PCB is requesting for relaxation..this will open door of corruption to new talented players as they will think that PCB will try for them. These player have deceived 17 Crore ppl for their selfish interest..Can PCB find any new Wasim, Waqar, or Saeed Anwar... Why PCB is asking again and again for Amir? First PCB should clean it self from Nepotism each and every thing should be on merit and performance..If teams are not coming to Pakistan arrange more and more cricket series within country in which you can invite small teams like Kenya, Afghanistan to show the world..or arrange domestic level series and should be on air on channels.

Posted by CricketChat on (July 3, 2013, 15:46 GMT)

Pak team has done fairly well given that they have to play 100% of their matches outside home advantage. The 3 banned players are not the source of their performance abroad. Some of the older players are coming to the end of their careers and new players are not upto international standards due to lack of home matches. Once Pak starts playing top level cricket at home, domestic standards will automatically improve like in the old days.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2013, 14:34 GMT)

after spot fixing they managed to perform well. its not that spot fixing case has damaged their onfield performance. yes it has been poor recently and more importantly inconsistent. also selection and domestic infrastructure has been a problem. They are not able to find replacements of good players and moving in circles.

About teams touring he is right unless some improvements no 1 will visit. they should try to rectify problems in domestic cricket.

Posted by Haleos on (July 3, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

Mr Sethi - There should not not be any leniency against any cricketer regardless of age, ethnicity or anything else. It will send a wrong message to others. I hope you understand that if you are serious about cleaning cricket too. @All the Amir fans - Please accept what he has done and move over. Dont keep asking for leniency. It is reaching pathetic level now.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2013, 13:49 GMT)

I want to say THANKS to Sethi for his whole heartd,honest try to develp Pak Crickt.

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