LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Managing Director Wasim Khan on Sunday said bringing Test-playing teams to the country remains his top priority, as he reiterated the need to revive international cricket here.
Wasim, while addressing a press conference in Lahore along with PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani, said all efforts were being made to fully restore international cricket in Pakistan.
“We are targetting Test-playing nations. T20 cricket alone cannot achieve the goal of restoring international cricket here,” he said.
Let’s make India want to play us, said PCB MD Wasim Khan
There are very little chance of bilateral cricket ties resuming between India and Pakistan in the near future but it might be time for a new strategy to get the two teams together, he said.
“It’s a massive challenge,” he said. “And I don’t think we’re going to see any solutions anytime soon. I think elections are going on in India, so nothing is going to happen in the near future. But, we are trying and PCB chairman Ehsan Mani is trying hard to get them to the table and get things moving.”
“We keep on asking them to play us but let’s create a situation where they ask us to play. I think we need to do that. It’s sad that we are not playing against them but life continues. We need to move forward and carry on. We can’t wait forever to play India. Our focus is to develop Pakistan cricket and get our team and players a lot of success at the international level.”
The newly appointed managing director, who most recently served as the chief executive of Leicestershire County Cricket Club, acknowledged the need for improvement in domestic cricket structure in order to bring consistency in the national team’s performance.
“Our actual problem is at the grassroots, in the system,” Wasim said, adding that the system wasn’t strong and the outcome was visible in the performance of the cricket team, particularly in Tests.
He pointed out that any long-term change would take time to implement, and that the results would not be visible in mere six months’ time.
He added that the PCB’s job was to examine the system of domestic cricket and strengthen cricket at the grass roots.
PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani, addressing the press conference, praised Wasim Khan’s contributions to cricket and said that he brings a wealth of experience and leadership skills to the board.
“I want to make the PCB into a professional organisation run by professional people,” Mani said.
“These kind of people will help us run smoothly. This can only help the board. We aim to make the PCB into an organisation that others aspire to follow.
“Wasim was involved in a superb grassroots development initiative in the UK as its CEO,” said Mani.
“Thousands of schoolchildren, including girls, were introduced to cricket by Wasim. That is the kind of development that we want to have over here. He is a graduate of the Warwick University, which is one of the finest business schools in the world.”
What can be a bigger endorsement for Pakistan cricket that someone like Wasim has joined us,” said Mani. “What we are paying him is much less than what he was making there but he wanted to help cricket here. He is recognised by the UK government and has been rewarded an MBE, so it’s great that someone like that has come to Pakistan to serve.”
I have always supported Pakistan. I was in the stands when we won the Champions Trophy in England. I want to This is where my loyalty lies; if I wanted comfort and security then I would have stayed in England but I wanted this challenge.