ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja on Thursday intimated that New Zealand Cricket (NZC) team was looking forward to reschedule a tour against Pakistan, after the Kiwis pulled-out from the ODI and Twenty20 series last month in the name of self conceived security threats.
The Kiwis had reached Pakistan on September 11 for the first time in 18 years to play three ODIs and five T20s but abandoned the tour claiming false security threats.
“NZC was rescheduling the tour after being pressured by Pakistan and hopefully we will hear a good news next week,” he said while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC).
The committee was headed by Senator Mian Raza Rabbani while members included Senators Dr Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur, Gurdeep Singh, Muhammad Ayub, Saeed Ahmed Hashmi, Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, Dr Sikandar Mandhro, Jam Mahtab Hussain Dahar, Irfan ul Haq Siddiqui and Rana Maqbool Ahmed. IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza and officials of PCB and IPC were also present on the occasion.
Raja said New Zealand officials didn’t share the nature of security threats with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
“Pakistan toured New Zealand and England during the tough restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic but nobody from the cricket fraternity has come out to help Pakistan at this time,” he said.
Raja said he has written a strong letter to the International Cricket Council (ICC) on the matter, but there was also a lot of politics involved there.
“PCB gets 50% funds from ICC whereas the 90% funding of ICC is from the Indian market. Therefore we have to work on Pakistan team and cricket economy to make it the best, as no one will be able to refuse us, if we are the No 1 team,” he said.
Raja said he wants to fix the whole system from top to bottom and there were many investors who want to support the board for the betterment of the game and cricketers.
“The salaries of domestic cricketers were raised and now they will earn Rs 40 million annually. The work on school level was also on the go as four banks are willing to take school teams,” he said.
Responding to a question, Raja said he had a very firm stance on the tainted cricketers. “Cricketers who have been involved in match fixing and have damaged the country's image should not be allowed to play," he said and added we also need to improve the standard of umpiring which has declined over the past few years.
The IPC Minister Dr. Fehmida Mirza informed the committee that a Grade12 officer was performing an acting job responsibilities of a Grade18 official at Karachi as there was no other senior officer present to take the job.
“We have also asked Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) to provide us the copy of the letter which they have written to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding IPC and PSB,” she said.
Meanwhile, Olympians Talha Talib and Arshad Nadeem who were also present in the meeting were paid tributes by the Senators for their impressive performance at the Tokyo Olympics.
“You both worked hard for Pakistan’s victory and the whole nation is looking at you,” the committee members said.
Arshad Nadeem said he had to face many difficulties in terms of training. Every player tries to find a job first when it comes to sports and I have got a job in Wapda since 2015,” he said.
Both athletes were also presented with honorary shields by the committee.