The head of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Shaharyar Khan, has claimed that the board takes major credit for the elimination of the Big Three financial model in cricket that supposedly cost Pakistan and other global teams heavy losses in revenue over the past three years. Indeed, the exclusive Big 3, including the boards of Australia, England and India, claimed somewhat of an oligopoly when it came to revenues and profiting from international cricket. The termination of the Big Three model receives our approbation due to the new possibilities it could bring to Pakistan cricket; although the new financial model allots the same share amount to the PCB as the Big Three did, the PCB claims Pakistan suffered some colossal losses in revenue as promises made were not kept under the former model.
It came as no surprise that the Indian cricket governing body, the BCCI, had the only dissenting vote as it is being made to nearly divide its initial share in half, giving it to associate members of the International Cricket Council (ICC). To say that Pakistan played a pivotal role in the elimination of the Big Three, however, seems like an exaggeration as there had been general opposition to the model for some time. Nonetheless, the changes could benefit Pakistan cricket greatly. This news, along with this year’s match against Zimbabwe, add momentum to the campaign to bring international cricket back to Pakistan. For many Pakistanis, cricket continues to motivate them when all else in the country is in disarray. They find respite in cricket from the harsh realities of their lives. Furthermore, cricket has also helped to build some tolerance and acceptance of other nationalities, which still need to be raised to higher levels. Pakistanis welcome international cricket and with the revised ICC financial policies, we hope to see Pakistan reap some of the fruits earlier promised.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2017.