July 12, 2003

Pakistan pulls team out of IWCC qualifying tournament

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been forced to pull out its women's cricket team from this month's International Women's Cricket Council (IWCC) Trophy after travel visas couldn't be arranged due to the closure of Consular Section of the Royal Netherlands Embassy because of security reasons.

The tournament is scheduled in Amsterdam between July 21 and 28.

"The PCB has been forced to pull out its team from the competition for reasons that are beyond its control. The PCB had wanted to field a unified and best possible team that could represent Pakistan. In that connection, a training camp was in progress at the Gaddafi Stadium. But with this latest development, the camp has been concluded with immediate effect," a spokesman of the PCB said on Saturday.

The PCB spokesman clarified that no other team would be allowed to use the name of Pakistan in the IWCC Trophy. "IWCC President Ms Christine P Brierley was informed of the PCB stand on July 6."

The PCB, in that letter, reiterated that any other team entertained by IWCC tournament qualifying round would not be authorized to use the name of Pakistan as it won't be the authorized team of the country.

"Please ensure if the authorized Pakistan Women Cricket Team (PCB) does not participate then no other team should be allowed to use the name of Pakistan and its emblem," the PCB added in the letter.

The spokesman clarified that the PCB couldn't secure Schengen visas for the team because it has not been officially invited by the IWCC for the qualifying rounds.

"The IWCC didn't send us the official invitation for the qualifying rounds because it still doesn't recognize us. However, there appears to be a change in the attitude of the IWCC as on July 10, the IWCC inquired from us the outcome of the June 23, 2003 hearing and if the Stay Order had been vacated. We consider it as a major breakthrough and hope that very soon, the IWCC will officially recognize PCB as the sole authority to control women's cricket in Pakistan," the spokesman said.

The Lahore High Court, in its judgement last year, had said the PCB was the only competent authority to run women's cricket in the country. After the judgement, the PCB held several meetings with the respective women's groups and tried to convince them to work together for the cause of the country. However, PCB efforts bore no fruits as one particular group still continues to press for the sole rights of controlling women's cricket in the country.

Samiul Hasan
General Manager - Media
Mobile + 92 300 8424 389
12 July 2003