Pakistan news July 13, 2011

PTT's job done, onus is now on PCB

Haroon Lorgat
The ICC's chief executive explains the remit of the task team and says the ball is now in the PCB's court

The ICC has noted the comments made by the Pakistan Cricket Board but feels it is also important that the reasons why the Pakistan Task Team (PTT) was established are fully understood.

Even before the attack on the Sri Lanka team in Lahore in March 2009, the PCB was offered the assistance of the ICC to explore strategies and solutions with regard to issues relating to the scheduling of international cricket and the wider implications of not staging home matches. The PCB happily accepted the offer in June 2009.

The PTT carried out its tasks with enthusiasm and good results. It engaged with the PCB regularly at all times but a little over 12 months into the PTT's mandate, another crisis befell Pakistan cricket with allegations of corruption involving members of the Pakistan national team during the England v Pakistan series in England in August 2010. This led to an ICC investigation which resulted in three players charged (and eventually found guilty) under the Code of Conduct.

In October 2010, with the total support of the PCB, the ICC Board extended the terms of reference and the personnel on the PTT to address "the protection of the integrity of cricket within Pakistan". The terms of reference highlighted the reviewing of the PCB's structures and considering any reforms necessary to restore confidence in the administration of the game in Pakistan.

Members of the PTT, all of whom gave their time freely and without remuneration or a second thought, in order to assist the PCB, spent days with Pakistan officials while the cricket experts like former England captain Mike Brearley flew to Dubai to meet up with the Pakistan management and players so that he could canvas their views and form constructive comments which would benefit Pakistan cricket.

Before the spot fixing allegations, the PTT along with Brearley and Greg Chappell, the highly respected former Australia captain, had begun exploring ways that could lead to an international team visiting Pakistan but these discussions were overshadowed and put on hold by the corruption allegations and subsequent hearing. This did not dissuade Greg Chappell from spending time reviewing the cricketing aspects of the PTT report and endorsing the recommendations.

The ICC considers that the remit of the PTT was to suggest ways in which the PCB could improve the structure and reputation of cricket in its country. The 63 recommendations were the result of numerous consultations with many stakeholders in the game in Pakistan as well as regular dialogue with the PCB. Subhan Ahmad, of the PCB, received the PTT report more than a week prior to the ICC Executive Board meeting in Hong Kong in June 2011 and provided only minor observations which were incorporated into the final report.

Many of the recommendations touched on governance issues and structures of the PCB and their relationship with the Government. At the ICC Annual Conference in Hong Kong not one single voice was raised in objection to the change in articles of association which regulate against government interference in cricket.

It must be remembered that the ICC role was to assist Pakistan cricket with constructive recommendations and the onus is now on the PCB to decide whether it wishes to embrace the recommendations in the same spirit they were made for the good of cricket in their country.

Haroon Lorgat is Chief Executive of the ICC