International XI in Pakistan 2012-13 October 19, 2012

'PCB's lack of support sends wrong message' - Ehsan Mani

22

With the arrival of a team led by former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya in Karachi, international cricket of sorts is set to return to Pakistan. Ehsan Mani, the former ICC chief, feels that though the two matches to be played this weekend will boost Pakistan's reputation as a viable host for international cricket, they won't be enough to convince Test teams to play in the country yet.

The International XI includes South African fast bowlers Andre Nel and Nantie Hayward, and West Indies players Jermaine Lawson and Ricardo Powell. They face a Pakistan All Stars XI team in Twenty20 matches at the National Stadium in Karachi on Saturday and Sunday. There has been no international cricket in Pakistan since March 2009, when the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked.

"I do not think that these matches will have an immediate impact in persuading ICC Full Member teams to tour Pakistan but it is a step in the right direction," Mani told ESPNcricinfo. "The International XI is a small but significant step in the confidence building process to assure overseas players and teams that Pakistan is open for cricket and it is safe for overseas players to come to Pakistan."

Without doubt Pakistan is desperate and in need of international cricket in their backyard; youth development is on hold as no team even at the youth level is ready to tour, the PCB has suffered a budget deficit for years, stadiums are getting rusty, fans are deprived. At a time when Pakistan is a no go-area for major international teams, though a side comprising international players have arrived in the country, the PCB has disassociated itself from the tour.

They have stressed that the games are unofficial and are unsanctioned, and have left Sindh sports minister Dr Mohammad Ali Shah to deal with most of the arrangements.

"I was disappointed to read that the PCB had disassociated itself from the matches; it appears that PCB is covering itself in case something goes wrong," Mani said. "This gives totally the wrong message. The PCB should have been very much involved, including assuring itself that adequate security arrangements are in place. It is disgraceful that the initiative to convince players to come to Pakistan is not being led by the PCB but by the Sindh government.

"The PCB's approach to bringing international cricket back to Pakistan is flawed," Mani said. "It tried to first persuade and then bully Bangladesh to tour Pakistan. The PCB does not seem to understand that before a full international tour can take place, teams such as the International XI should tour Pakistan to provide a degree of comfort to the ICC Member countries."

Pakistan cricket chief Zaka Ashraf, though, has said the revival of international cricket is his top priority but apparently accepted the goal is tough to achieve in the near future. While talking to ESPNcricinfo last month, he called the approach of the cricketing world towards touring Pakistan as 'rigid'.

Mani said the PCB needed to be fully aware of the steps necessary for the return of international tours to the country. "The PCB clearly does not understand the politics of cricket and the pressures on certain countries not to tour Pakistan by others with a different agenda.

"The PCB also does not appear to have agreement with the ICC on what assurances the ICC will require before a team and ICC officials consider it safe to come to Pakistan," he said. "It does not help that no PCB official or member of the security agency mandated to provide security to the Sri Lankan team in 2009 has been made accountable and punished for the disastrous lapse of security which put at risk the lives of players and officials and cost the lives of security personnel and destroyed international cricket in Pakistan."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 20, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    Whoever took the initiative it was PCB should have taken some responsibility. Can we prosper in this game at international level with Zaka Ashraf as Chairman and the likes of Hafeez as Captains?

  • MianAmmar on October 20, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    U R Right Mr. Mani and PCB should do something better to resume INTL. cricket in Pakistan

  • on October 20, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    i agree with sir Mr ehsan mani ! he is right Pcb must support this contest ! and should provide the degree of security !!

  • masoodali150 on October 20, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    Well thought Mr. Mani, and well analysis according to situation. I do hope that this will go to PCB for understanding all the scenario which PCB understand very well but remain at the back side of wall that's very shame on you PCB.

  • on October 20, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    @Shahzad Ahmed thmbs up for ur comments

  • davidatlas999 on October 20, 2012, 4:09 GMT

    @shahzad ahmad.agree with u mate.

  • on October 20, 2012, 2:56 GMT

    @Shaitan_Zindabad. I don't think the PCB is opposing it, its just not sanctioning it. It was an initiative led by the Sindh government. Anyway it is definately progress and what the players are doing is great!

  • on October 19, 2012, 23:59 GMT

    I am really diappointed with Zaka Ashraf...............

  • Shaitan_Zindabad on October 19, 2012, 23:41 GMT

    The arrival of a few retired international players in Pakistan to play some T20 'bat-ball' is indeed heartening news. Could someone please explain as to why the PCB is opposing this and not using this as an opportunity to upgrade it's ratings? Is it against some clause set by the ICC or some conflict of interest or what?

  • vxttemp on October 19, 2012, 22:37 GMT

    @may_the_best_win : What are you talking about India dude? I'm actually happy to see some cricket returning back to Pakistan. Please do not spoil that. The scars of blasts in India are yet to heal. So do not reopen the wounds. You better be nice and the whole world will be nice to you.

  • on October 20, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    Whoever took the initiative it was PCB should have taken some responsibility. Can we prosper in this game at international level with Zaka Ashraf as Chairman and the likes of Hafeez as Captains?

  • MianAmmar on October 20, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    U R Right Mr. Mani and PCB should do something better to resume INTL. cricket in Pakistan

  • on October 20, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    i agree with sir Mr ehsan mani ! he is right Pcb must support this contest ! and should provide the degree of security !!

  • masoodali150 on October 20, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    Well thought Mr. Mani, and well analysis according to situation. I do hope that this will go to PCB for understanding all the scenario which PCB understand very well but remain at the back side of wall that's very shame on you PCB.

  • on October 20, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    @Shahzad Ahmed thmbs up for ur comments

  • davidatlas999 on October 20, 2012, 4:09 GMT

    @shahzad ahmad.agree with u mate.

  • on October 20, 2012, 2:56 GMT

    @Shaitan_Zindabad. I don't think the PCB is opposing it, its just not sanctioning it. It was an initiative led by the Sindh government. Anyway it is definately progress and what the players are doing is great!

  • on October 19, 2012, 23:59 GMT

    I am really diappointed with Zaka Ashraf...............

  • Shaitan_Zindabad on October 19, 2012, 23:41 GMT

    The arrival of a few retired international players in Pakistan to play some T20 'bat-ball' is indeed heartening news. Could someone please explain as to why the PCB is opposing this and not using this as an opportunity to upgrade it's ratings? Is it against some clause set by the ICC or some conflict of interest or what?

  • vxttemp on October 19, 2012, 22:37 GMT

    @may_the_best_win : What are you talking about India dude? I'm actually happy to see some cricket returning back to Pakistan. Please do not spoil that. The scars of blasts in India are yet to heal. So do not reopen the wounds. You better be nice and the whole world will be nice to you.

  • SylhetiBangladeshiCricketExpert4u on October 19, 2012, 20:21 GMT

    @Shahzad Ahmed hahahahahaha Totally Agrre with u 100 Percent

  • Syed_imran_abbas on October 19, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    We need guys like Eshsan mani as chairman PCB to get pakistan cricket issues on right track. I hope things will change by this years general elections. And i totally agree that PCB should have supported this event.

  • Ahtizaz on October 19, 2012, 19:48 GMT

    Yes I completely agree with Mani

  • Raj1960 on October 19, 2012, 19:41 GMT

    As a Cricketing fan, I need Pakistan as a viable cricketing nation, but not at the risk of players lives. So Pakistani political establishment has to rise up and provide security to visiting nations players. This will be a small but a step in the right direction.

  • braindead_rocker on October 19, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    Why can't Pakistan invite teams like Zimbabwe to break the ice?

  • haroon_mukhtar on October 19, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    A shame, really! Totally agree with Mr. Ehsan on this one.

  • mihir_nam on October 19, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    Really sad to know Pakistan Youth development has gone on hold. Well Pakistan should invite Bangladesh and Zimbabwe for tri series ODI or T20 .Soon as these nations hardly have any fixtures. Even try to host Ireland or Afghanistan against their development team or A team. Even Zimbabwe can tour for Test series in Pakistan.

  • may_the_best_win on October 19, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    "The PCB clearly does not understand the politics of cricket and the pressures on certain countries not to tour Pakistan by others with a different agenda." Mr. Ehsan Mani, even out of the office, you dont dare to take name of india who is pressurising teams like srilanka n bangladesh not to tour pakistan then how do u expect ppl still in office to take some stand against it??

  • on October 19, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    PCB did blunder no doubt , you are doing more harm than PCB by highlighting country sensitive issues on international media. Everyone knows whats going on so you should not need to mentioned all this while Pakistan Cricket is passing through difficult time. It would be better if you could keep your over efficiencies to yourself. Thanks

  • on October 19, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    Good Move by Pak and World XI.. Well let c What Out Put Come Out...

  • abi111 on October 19, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    thats good for pak cricket ,but it maytake 2020 for teams to tour

  • timtom on October 19, 2012, 15:29 GMT

    Well said..Some sane thought by an ex-PCB member...J

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • timtom on October 19, 2012, 15:29 GMT

    Well said..Some sane thought by an ex-PCB member...J

  • abi111 on October 19, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    thats good for pak cricket ,but it maytake 2020 for teams to tour

  • on October 19, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    Good Move by Pak and World XI.. Well let c What Out Put Come Out...

  • on October 19, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    PCB did blunder no doubt , you are doing more harm than PCB by highlighting country sensitive issues on international media. Everyone knows whats going on so you should not need to mentioned all this while Pakistan Cricket is passing through difficult time. It would be better if you could keep your over efficiencies to yourself. Thanks

  • may_the_best_win on October 19, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    "The PCB clearly does not understand the politics of cricket and the pressures on certain countries not to tour Pakistan by others with a different agenda." Mr. Ehsan Mani, even out of the office, you dont dare to take name of india who is pressurising teams like srilanka n bangladesh not to tour pakistan then how do u expect ppl still in office to take some stand against it??

  • mihir_nam on October 19, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    Really sad to know Pakistan Youth development has gone on hold. Well Pakistan should invite Bangladesh and Zimbabwe for tri series ODI or T20 .Soon as these nations hardly have any fixtures. Even try to host Ireland or Afghanistan against their development team or A team. Even Zimbabwe can tour for Test series in Pakistan.

  • haroon_mukhtar on October 19, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    A shame, really! Totally agree with Mr. Ehsan on this one.

  • braindead_rocker on October 19, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    Why can't Pakistan invite teams like Zimbabwe to break the ice?

  • Raj1960 on October 19, 2012, 19:41 GMT

    As a Cricketing fan, I need Pakistan as a viable cricketing nation, but not at the risk of players lives. So Pakistani political establishment has to rise up and provide security to visiting nations players. This will be a small but a step in the right direction.

  • Ahtizaz on October 19, 2012, 19:48 GMT

    Yes I completely agree with Mani