Pakistan’s newly elected cricket chairman says he will continue to push his country’s case at the ICC dispute committee over India pulling out of two bilateral series.
“Their (Indian) policy has been overall contradicting, because they are always ready to play in multinational tournaments like Asia Cup and World Cup but pull out on bilateral arrangements,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani said.
Their legal case before the ICC dispute panel begins on October 1.
Mani sounded confidence by saying “I assure you that we will not be begging or requesting India to play bilateral cricket series. Pakistan has its own self-esteem and prestige and we will always uphold it no matter what are the circumstances.”
To a question, he said that he is confident that the International Cricket Council will take a decision on merit on the case the PCB has filed for claiming damages on India for its refusal not to fulfil it bilateral series commitment with Pakistan.
“If it was at an earlier stage, I could have sat with the BCCI at the table to sort this out, but the process has started and gone too far to be pulled back,” Mani said.
India cancelled series with Pakistan in 2014 and 2015, claiming political tensions. Pakistan was scheduled to stage both series, and claimed losses of nearly $70 million.
Since then, they have met in the 2015 Cricket World Cup and 2017 Champions Trophy. They are scheduled to meet this month in the Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
Mani was elected unopposed as chairman for a three-year term on Tuesday in Lahore.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, the patron of the PCB, nominated Mani as a member of the board of governors last month when Najam Sethi resigned as board chairman.
Sethi’s resignation was expected as he had a poor relationship with Khan, who was elected prime minister in July general elections.
According to the PCB constitution, the patron can nominate two members on the board.
Mani has considerable cricket administration experience. He previously represented Pakistan on the International Cricket Council from 1996-2002, and served as ICC president from 2003-06.
Mani said he would like to tweak the PCB constitution to diminish the power of the chairman.
“Everywhere in the world it doesn’t happen like this, so we have to tweak the constitution,” he said. “The whole system should run only for cricketers, and the importance of the chairman and board members will be toned down.”
The newly-elected chairman said his specific mandate is to revamp the present cricket structure by bringing in changes to make it quality oriented.
Right from grassroots level to school, club and region levels of cricket, we want to adopt a system which is ‘Pakistan cricket system’ instead of talking about much talked Australian cricket system, based on our own needs and requirements in the game to prepare back-up squads for different tiers of our national cricket, Mani said.
He said a task force will be set up to infuse a new life in domestic cricket structure by taking all the stakeholders on board and their useful suggestions will be implemented for the betterment and strengthening our domestic cricket.
“There are lots of challenges we will be facing as our grounds are not in good condition and our stadiums are in bad condition and with PSL matches and foreign teams visiting Pakistan we have to look into this aspect to better our own cricket facilities bringing them at par with the international standards,” chairman PCB said.
Answering a question he said he believed in good professional governance of the PCB as it will yield positive impact on the working of the Board and Pakistan cricket.
In this regard he quoted the example of Australian, England and New Zealand cricket Board where good governance has brought a positive impact on their cricket and established their respective teams status in top notch teams of the world.
“My utmost effort will be to introduce a new system of good governance in the PCB for the overall development of game and to run the PCB on professional lines, making it an institution to sustain all sort of pressure and its performance and progress should not hamper in any circumstances,” he said.
The PCB chairman said that corruption would not be tolerated at any level in the PCB nor in its allied affairs including PSL. “All matters will be dealt in a transparent way and will be made public and we will not be hiding anything in PCB,” he said adding “Auditors have raised a few objections during the audit of the PSL and we will be go through and will bring to task the responsible individuals, if any.”
He said a lot of effort is still needed to bring back international cricket to Pakistan. “We need to work on more confidence building measures to motivate the foreign governments to send their teams to Pakistan which is only possible when we work with close coordination with them on highlighting the positive measures we have taken for ensuring the safety and security of the foreign teams,” he said adding “Besides we have to create close liaison with international cricket players association to take it into confidence on importance matters related to bring improvement on security issues in Pakistan.”
He said resumption of international cricket is not an overnight process and defiantly it will take some time and with foreign players playing in Pakistan in PSL and then returning to their respective countries a positive and good massage will be spread regarding Pakistan portraying its soft image of a country to stage international cricket events.