No one is interested in coming to Pakistan: Zaka Ashraf

Published: June 28, 2012
PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf’s efforts of reviving cricket in Pakistan bore no fruit as all boards refused, pointing towards to security situation the country. PHOTO:  AFP/FILE

PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf’s efforts of reviving cricket in Pakistan bore no fruit as all boards refused, pointing towards to security situation the country. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

KARACHI: From day one Zaka Ashraf has been on a mission to revive international cricket in Pakistan despite the prevailing sensitive security situation of the country.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief had left for Kuala Lumpur for the International Cricket Council (ICC) annual conference with two main aims – to convince boards about touring Pakistan and talks with the Indian board about the revival of a bilateral series. However, his effort received a major blow  when he was given the cold shoulder by the other boards who showed ‘no interest’ in touring the country in the near future.

Pakistan have not hosted a Test nation since 2009 after the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus and while the board came close to breaking the barren run in April when Bangladesh agreed to play a two-match series, intervention by a Dhaka court poured cold water over the plans.

Ashraf, who said he was in talks with other boards, sounded disappointed after meeting his counterparts in Kuala Lumpur.

“No one is interested in tours,” Ashraf told The Express Tribune. “All the boards point towards the lack of security in Pakistan.”

The PCB chief added that the municipal authorities’ act to bring down a wall at the PCB headquarters in Lahore also left a negative impact.

“Some officials also spoke about Gaddafi Stadium wall. They were carrying the stories and asked me how they could play amid serious security issues.”

The Gulberg town municipal corporation destroyed the wall saying it was built without its approval and on a green belt. The PCB, meanwhile, said that the wall was built in accordance with the ICC’s security standards and requirements.

Talks held with India

Meanwhile, the PCB chairman confirmed that talks were also held with the the Board of Control for Cricket in India but refused to share details.

The PCB is hoping to play a short series against India later this year as relations between the two boards improved.

The discussions in Kuala Lumpur were the continuation of talks that were held during Ashraf’s visit to India for the  final of the Indian Premier League.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (46)

  • afzaalkhan
    Jun 28, 2012 - 1:50AM

    I hope Zaka Ashraf has finally learned the lesson, so can we plz stop begging and start concentrating on 10 yr plan of no intl cricket in pak? or is it too much to ask from PCB? How abt fixing domestic cricket making it more competetive? more A and U19 tours?


  • Pungi
    Jun 28, 2012 - 1:53AM

    Never mind..A day will come when they all will dream to visit Pakistan…InshaALLAH!


  • neil
    Jun 28, 2012 - 1:55AM

    I m sorry but I think I just can’t stop laughing haha


  • Azharuddin Masood
    Jun 28, 2012 - 2:28AM

    As of now things looks very bleak for the revival of cricket in Pakistan and if Pakistan takes concrete steps to eradicate terrorism then there are some chances that Pakistani people might get a chance to watch international cricketers playing in their country in about 3 to 4 decades, until then say goodbye to home cricket. Things are deteriorating very fast for Pakistan and (not just in cricket but in all fields) nothing concrete and productive is going to happen in any field in Pakistan unless and until Pakistan changes it paradigm of using terrorism as an instrument to achieve its goals.


  • Jun 28, 2012 - 2:36AM

    The photo so matches with his sentiments and statements.


  • Char Latan
    Jun 28, 2012 - 2:41AM

    Where are the foreign hands when you need them?


  • Babbarsher khan
    Jun 28, 2012 - 4:36AM

    Who would dare to come to the land of pure, talibans and over zealous judiciary who is at everyone’s throat with suo motu? Pakistan is a lost case. Let Imran and his breed of Islamic revivalist take the country to its nadir and hope after that whatever happens it will be for better only!


  • Animal Farm - Desi
    Jun 28, 2012 - 4:44AM

    And we are surprised…?


  • neil
    Jun 28, 2012 - 4:55AM

    India will tour Pakistan but we want Salman butt as captain of the Pakistan team …. we need a few no balls to win man ..oh and u have 2 have aamir and asif ….great bowlers ….


  • Plal
    Jun 28, 2012 - 6:06AM

    This is the same Zaka Ashraf who was berating Indian Cricket team as weak and afraid to face Pakistan (but India defeated Pakistan in Asia Cup league match after this statement) AND now he want India to be friendly-iS not it a doble speak…


  • Billoo Bhaya
    Jun 28, 2012 - 7:23AM

    Truth is often bitter and ugly. Our national character is that Players remain unrepentant after spending jail time for spot-fixing, another bowler is banned by life by English Cricket, terrorists that shot at Sri Lankan cricketers still are at large and Pakistan has nothing to show an improvement in national security. Like cricket foreign investment has not only stopped, but now its disinvestment that has gathered pace. Still our governing elite have not come to their senses. Sad indeed!!!


  • malik
    Jun 28, 2012 - 7:57AM

    I read sometime back here in ET that a great PPL was in the offing ? What happened ?


  • mr. righty rightist
    Jun 28, 2012 - 9:07AM


    I agree with you.

    Pakistan’s attitude has been like that since its inception. That’s why it’s a rotting society today.


  • ASIM
    Jun 28, 2012 - 9:31AM

    Its because of the ruling class


  • Aristo
    Jun 28, 2012 - 12:15PM

    All fruits of the infamous security state doctrine.


  • Yaida M
    Jun 28, 2012 - 12:44PM

    That kind of double-speak is normal in Pakistan. Even superstar Afridi last year berated the IPL and almost in the same breath wanted to know why Pakistani players were excluded from it. Integrity is what is missing.


  • Jun 28, 2012 - 12:46PM

    By the time teams will be ready to come to Pakistan , International cricket will be over and forgotton. big leagues will replace national teams. i guess then zaka will complain how IPL wont play his players


  • Jun 28, 2012 - 12:48PM

    Also why not work on making pakistan safe for its own people and foreigners first and then invite other teams. no one is gonna come if even your PM is not safe and you shouldnt complain about it.
    if pakistan becomes a safe place then other teams will beg to come down there.


  • abs
    Jun 28, 2012 - 1:02PM

    Well good you realise the same. For a few there are some genuine concerns, whereas for some others (like Bangladesh) its about dirty politics we have within boards. Focus on local cricket tournaments.
    We have much more talent and importantly passion than South Africa had when they were banned for over 20 years. If they can survive and come bak like champs why can’t we do it


  • saeed
    Jun 28, 2012 - 1:33PM

    Asim , not because of ruling class , but because of people of Pakistan who love there Religon Insallah and masallah


  • Adeel
    Jun 28, 2012 - 2:23PM

    @Neil, get a life!


  • Saleem
    Jun 28, 2012 - 2:53PM

    I cant really think of a single reason why that should be so!!


  • Hro
    Jun 28, 2012 - 3:08PM

    Very sad indeed


  • KB
    Jun 28, 2012 - 3:38PM

    @neil: I can’t stop feeling sad about your mental condition – Where has this world come to.Recommend

  • Aizaz
    Jun 28, 2012 - 3:47PM

    There is no dignity in living in foreign countries. One will always be classed as foreign and that includes their offspring.

    That said our own rulers are weak and greedy, so much so that they have bankrupt the country. Add to this mix an extremely divided population and it is no wonder that Pakistanis move abroad at the first opportunity.

    It is for the leaders and the led to compromise to create a nation. This was never done when this country was born so it is up to us to start the process at grass roots. Otherwise, keep living in the quicksand you are in already, who cares? Naturally no one will come here and people like that idiot Neil, will keep on snikering.


  • JB
    Jun 28, 2012 - 4:02PM

    PCB should adopt the approach used by South Africa when they were banned from international cricket. Not only did they improve their domestic structure; they also became one of the strongest cricketing teams in the world. The upside for us is that we are not banned from international cricket. Lets continue playing in neutral venues and make our domestic structure stronger at the same time. A time will come when cricketers will come to play ‘Pakistani county’ cricket!


  • Alif
    Jun 28, 2012 - 4:33PM

    We should focus on our domestic cricket. The talent we have in our country needs a little support to prove themselves. Need more tournaments of FBT20 nature.


  • jimmy
    Jun 28, 2012 - 4:50PM

    Pakistan should host a series or be allowed to host only from 2020 !! i have said it before and i will say it again…give pak 8 yrs time to improve security and clean the terror mess ! but iam still baffled as to why ind is not ready to play Pakistan in atleast neutral venues ! i don’t think there is harm in that…


  • FDR
    Jun 28, 2012 - 5:59PM

    The people of Pakistan will never make any sense. In the midst of all the problems we are facing, our priorities are still stuck on Cricket and Football. No wonder we’ve gone farther down the drain than ever in our history.


  • FDR
    Jun 28, 2012 - 6:07PM

    @jimmy: you think 8yrs is enough for cleaning up decades worth of “mess”?


  • zain
    Jun 28, 2012 - 6:30PM

    It is not right to ask any team to come to play cricket in Pakistan at present. Let’s concentrate on domestic cricket and invite international players to play in our team for our youngster to learn from them. When our own house is in order international team will be glad to come and play to a great cricket loving pakistani crowd.


  • Zeeshan Cheema
    Jun 28, 2012 - 8:46PM

    Simply because due to failure of the current government, not bothered to improve the security just busy with their army of ministries to do corruption day and night.


  • ayesha_khan
    Jun 28, 2012 - 8:48PM

    @jimmy: “but iam still baffled as to why ind is not ready to play Pakistan in atleast neutral venues ! i don’t think there is harm in that…”

    India has not refused to play in neutral avenues. In fact it even went so far as to say that the matches could be held in India and Pakistan could get the bulk of revenue as though it was host. Thus Pakistan would get the revenue and the crowds. But your PCB chief was making a condition that India must play at least one match in Pakistan and India is not okay with that.


  • Optimistic
    Jun 28, 2012 - 8:56PM

    I will advice PCB to continue struggle


  • Saba Pervez
    Jun 28, 2012 - 9:07PM

    Now that’s obvious under the prevailing circumstances when bomb blasts have become a routine in Pakistan…


  • Doosam
    Jun 28, 2012 - 9:26PM

    at last PCB admits what everyone knows for years


  • Khalid
    Jun 28, 2012 - 9:59PM

    Pakistan at present is not even safe for its own citizens forget sportsmen coming from abroad to play here, after all nobody wants to die or get hurt just because they want to come here and play…..We have serious issues to solve, we are isolated and being ignored in every field, held hostage by an aggressive violent minority who can only achieve there agenda if we are isolated…wake up pakistan /p>Recommend

  • romeo
    Jun 28, 2012 - 10:10PM

    How insane of Zaka Ashraf to think that foreign teams will visit Pakistan under the present situation. There is each and every day bomb blast in major cities of Pakistan. Even the Punjab Govt could not provide enough security to the Sri Lankan despite knowing that there is grave danger to the safety and security of the team in advance. The Chief Minister during that time should have been sued and dismissed but it never happened and the culprits were never brought to justice. Zaka Ashraf should come to senses and realize that time is not right to invite any team unless the security of the whole country comes back to normal which is think is not possible for the next 10 years. Plan overseas test, 1days, t20’s accordingly and save the country’s prestige from further embarrassment and humiliation.


  • Assad
    Jun 28, 2012 - 10:21PM

    Thanks to his travels beyond his own country, Zaka saab has come to realize the sad truth. Before that, although, he was acting smug.
    We are a smug/ self content society…till we start travelling abroad.


  • politically incorrect
    Jun 28, 2012 - 10:26PM

    BCCI is behind this wholesale boycott of touring Pakistan.Only yesterday no body dared to put the DRS on vote in ICC meeting inspite of the fact that every other board is in it’s favour except India.Such is India’s corrupting influence on ICC.


  • jimmy
    Jun 29, 2012 - 4:09AM

    bro i was being friendly here :) fine if u feel 8 hrs is not enough for teams to tour pak, then lets make it 2050 as the year for intl teams to finally tour pakistan !!


  • Jun 29, 2012 - 5:29PM

    Pakistan should just let the players go and play in foreign teams as African soccer players do. That keeps the game level up to mark.


  • Udaya Bose
    Jun 29, 2012 - 8:29PM

    I agree with you. There is life beyond cricket. The Olympics for instance. Have any Pakistanis qualified?


  • jimmy
    Jun 30, 2012 - 4:10AM

    @politically incorrect:
    the bcci didnt oppose pakistan or any other country not to implement drs system…every board now has a right to implement the system if they wish….. tell me why didnt sri lanka have the drs system implemented when they are playing pak now…thts cause they have no money to implement the drs since its expensive…. an u still blame bcci for tht..wht do u expect from us… pay for u guys as well ….


  • Jul 16, 2012 - 9:57PM

    Sir, there are many teams interested to play in Pakistan. Some of them are Taliban, LET, JUD, Mullahs, Parliament, Judiciary etc.etc. Rehman Malik will be the best umpire.


  • Super Star
    Jul 17, 2012 - 11:02AM

    I would suggest Pakistanis to teach their all weather friend China some cricket and ask them to send their teams to play. Perhaps they will support you :-))). even they , i am sure , will have second thoughts


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