KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi has again reiterated that both Sri Lanka and West Indies will be touring Pakistan, despite rumours circulating to the contrary.
“The full-strength Sri Lankan team is coming to Pakistan,” he said. “I don’t know who has been circulating these rumours but the Sri Lanka Cricket president has insisted that the full strength team will be coming to Pakistan.”
Sethi also insisted that West Indies will also be travelling to the country soon. “We are in talks with the West Indian team as well,” he said. “The issue is that they want us to travel to West Indies in return but there seems to be no possible time before 2019. That is too long a wait for their board so we are now discussing a remuneration scheme in which we pay them to tour and they pay us when we do eventually tour them. Hopefully, the final details will be ironed out within the next two weeks.”
PSL and Karachi
Sethi insists that he is doing everything he can for cricket to return to the National Stadium of Karachi, the iconic stadium that has been devoid of major cricket since 2009.
“We are talking about the return of international cricket to Pakistan and it won’t exactly be complete until we play matches in Karachi too; just bringing teams to Lahore isn’t the return of international cricket in its true sense,” he said. “We are doing everything we can to bring PSL to Karachi this time around.”
The PSL head revealed that he has met Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah as they iron out security arrangements. “The key in convincing cricketers to come here is to get the approval of the International Cricket Council’s security company,” said Sethi. “That company is associated with player committees all over the world. If we get the green light from them, then I don’t think the players will have any issues.”
With the final of PSL2 having already taken place in Lahore, Sethi said the PCB is sharing that knowledge with Sindh. “The Sindh government will be handed the security plan that was devised for Lahore,” he said. “They will then take a look at it and let us know what can be arranged. We will then provide our input after consulting our own security company. Then we will invite ICC’s company to come have a look at it.”
Sethi expressed optimism over the entire play-offs and final taking place in Karachi and Lahore this time around. “Hopefully, Sri Lanka and West Indies would have toured Pakistan before PSL3, so we would have a lot of convincing power.”
PCB backs T10 league
With reports circulating regarding chief selector Inzamamul Haq’s involvement in a proposed T10 league and the PCB’s unhappiness over that, Sethi was quick to point out that that was not the case.
“Firstly, Inzamam is not actively involved,” said Sethi. “Secondly, even if he was, he is with us as a consultant and is therefore not obligated to stop his other businesses as long as there isn’t a conflict of interest.”
The PCB chairman also said the board has no problem with the league and even said Pakistan’s players will participate in it as long as there isn’t any international or domestic commitments. “The UAE cricket board is very eager to have something permanent there,” said Sethi. “They have realised we will be returning to Pakistan sooner or later so they don’t want their stadiums to just sit empty and gather dust. That is why they want the T10 league to take place.”