Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani has vowed to bring entire Pakistan Super League to home soil within the next three years.
“We are gradually trying to increase the number of PSL matches that take place in Pakistan and will try to bring the entire event to home soil within the next three years,” Mani said while talking in an exclusive interview with Daily Express.
Earlier it was pointed out that three PSL franchises have not submitted their bank guarantee for the next edition of the league and speaking on this issue Mani said that action will be taken if teams don’t comply with the rules and regulations.
“It is expected that the remaining PSL franchises who have not submitted their bank guarantees will do so in the next few days,” he said. “In case they don’t comply, I won’t hesitate from taking necessary action.”
Mani also shared his thoughts about the ongoing PSL audit stating: “We have given our response to AGP on their observations regarding their irregularities during previous editions of PSL. Our management is working closely with them and is providing whatever information they ask for in relation to the league.”
Talking about changes in the PCB, Mani said that his primary focus in on bringing institutional professionalism within the board.
“My objective is to bring institutional professionalism within the PCB so that in the future, even if there is a change of chairman, the board follows the right direction,” he said. “Best practice, corporate governance, accountability and transparency will be core values of the board.”
He added: “In the past there has been lack of professionalism and check and balances which has led to poor decision making but now we will ensure that a proper system is in place so that no one exceeds their authority. I’m currently observing the people who are working with the PCB by looking at their strengths and weaknesses and once I’m done with that I will ensure that the board is fit for purpose. I’m not the kind of person who works in accordance with his comfort zone as my primary focus is on a professional approach.”
Despite Pakistan’s poor performance during the Asia Cup, Mani said there is no need for massive changes.
“There is no need to panic despite the Asia Cup debacle because we have nice team combination at the moment and massive changes are not required at the moment,” he said. “The important thing is that we should have a good team composition along with proper functioning team management as it plays a vital role in overcoming any team in international cricket.”
He also backed Sarfraz Ahmed as captain of the side: “I want to make it clear that I have full confidence in Sarfraz Ahmed as captain of the side. The team has delivered under his leadership and the Champions Trophy victory is a glaring example in that regard.”
Mani also shared his desire about forming a cricket committee consisting of former cricketers for the betterment of Pakistan cricket.
“The cricket committee will only include former cricketers because they have a thorough understanding of the game,” he said. “I don’t want to talk about individuals but the people selected to represent the committee will include those who can make a positive contribution to Pakistan cricket.”
Mani also seconded Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stance on revamping domestic cricket.
“I agree with Imran Khan because there are way too many teams playing domestic first-class and non-first-class cricket. There is too much quantity while very little quality due to this issue,” he said. “I can’t share my plans right now but let me assure you that in the future there will be fewer teams participating in domestic cricket.”
PCB has filed a $70 million compensation case against BCCI for not honouring the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed at the time of the formation of Big Three. The verdict on the issue is yet to be handed out by the ICC but Mani is realistically optimistic about board’s chances of success.
“Our legal team is confident that we have a strong case against the BCCI but in any litigation nothing can be said for sure unless the final verdict is handed out,” he said.
He was also hopeful that Indo-Pak cricketing ties will resume soon but not before the the upcoming elections in India.
“I’m hopeful that relations between Pakistan and India will improve but in the next few months, due to elections in India, politics will take precedence over cricket so there will be little progress in this regard,” he said.
Speaking about international teams visiting Pakistan in the future, Mani said that he will discuss the issue with other boards during the ICC meeting scheduled later this month.
“I would not like to speculate as there are still issues we need to resolve in order to lure international teams into visiting Pakistan,” he said. “In my first ICC meeting, scheduled on October 20, I will have a discussion with other member boards on this matter.”
Mani also expressed keen desire to curb the menace of match-fixing through robust education program.
“The current education program is quite robust but we will bring further improvements to curb this menace of match-fixing,” he said.
Mani also said that decision regarding player participation in T10 League will be taken soon.
“We are carrying out proper investigation regarding the T10 League and I’m hopeful that decision about players’ participation will be taken by Friday, October 12,” he said