KARACHI: Following the postponement of the Bangladesh tour, former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shaharyar Khan wants the current setup to bring in lower-ranked teams to the country instead of urging Test nations to tour.
“It is very unfortunate that the postponement came after the confirmation,” Shaharyar told The Express Tribune. “Our cricket fraternity was delighted by the news of the tour.
“There must be some political influence behind the decision but whatever it is, it is a huge setback for Pakistan because the deadlock would’ve been broken by this tour and bringing in teams like Sri Lanka was next in the PCB’s plans.”
Shaharyar, also a former Pakistan diplomat, advised the PCB to focus on the lower-ranked teams now.
“We should start from the lower-ranked teams. The PCB must focus on inviting associate members or other club-level teams to play with our second string sides. It should host such teams on regular basis and by doing that repeatedly, with success, a soft impression will definitely be created which will start attracting top teams.
“At the same time, international players from other games like hockey, tennis and boxing should also be invited by their bodies. I don’t see the drought ending without this process taking place, especially after the postponement of Bangladesh’s tour.”
‘PPL to have no impact’
The former PCB chairman also warned that the proposed Pakistan Premier League (PPL) will not serve the purpose the board wants it to and will have no impact on international cricket’s resumption in the country.
It will, Shaharyar added, only quench the thirst of fans in Pakistan who have been starved of live cricket action.
Meanwhile, Shaharyar also dispelled the impression that PPL will help the revival of international cricket in Pakistan.
“It may be a cricket treat for our fans but it will have no impact on bringing international teams here. At the moment, no current top player will tour Pakistan even for a huge amount.
“The PCB will only succeed in roping players who have passed their prime or are retired cricketers and their participation will not make any difference to what the PCB actually wants to achieve.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2012.