KARACHI: The country’s cricket fraternity including former cricketers and administrators lamented the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision not to award Pakistan hosting rights for any of its events at least until 2023.
The governing body, in its annual conference in London last week, chalked out hosts for their global events from 2015 to 2023 and Pakistan was overlooked for all of its competitions including the qualifying tournaments till 2023.
India was given hosting rights of three major tournaments including the 2016 World Twenty20, the 2021 World Test Championship and the 2023 World Cup.
England will host the 2017 World Test Championship and the 2019 World Cup while the 2020 World Twenty20 will be hosted by Australia.
Suspended PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf had bid to host the 2018 World Cup qualifying event but the event was awarded to Bangladesh.
Although the ICC’s decision to exclude Pakistan was on the cards due security concerns, former cricketers felt the isolation will further damage the sport in the country.
“Our cricket is already damaged,” legendary batsman Zaheer Abbas told The Express Tribune. “Our cricketers are not playing in front of the nation and that has affected their professionalism and more isolation will bring further negative repercussions.
“But the ICC cannot do much about this. Our law-and-order situation is not improving much and that, unfortunately, is the ground reality.”
Another former cricketer and national team coach Mohsin Khan termed the lengthy isolation ‘unfair’.
“It’s a very long time. Pakistan is a major cricket nation with millions of enthusiasts. This game has become a part of our culture,” he said.
“The ICC should have given some options subject to improvement in situation in the next three to four years.
“Our government is working on it and there is hope that the situation will improve in the coming years.
“There is no denying that the current security situation is inappropriate but to isolate the country from any major events for a decade is absolutely unfair.”
Former PCB chief Khalid Mehmood, however, backed the ICC’s decision.
“It’s very unfortunate and sad for Pakistan cricket,” said Mehmood.
“But the ICC has to follow a long-term plan and the current situation in our country gives no hope. The incidents of the attacks on foreigners are not random; they were targeted, which is very dangerous.
“It’s a long process to revive international cricket and it demands long-term planning from our cricket authorities.”
Richardson lauds Test Championship confirmation
Meanwhile, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson was delighted with the confirmation of the World Test Championship.
“The ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales was highly acclaimed and appreciated by all,” he said.
“However, the principle of one pinnacle global event for each of the three formats over a four-year cycle is a good one and, as such, the ICC Board has agreed to replace the Champions Trophy with the ICC World Test Championship.
“Now that the ICC World Test Championship has been confirmed, we’ll work on the playing conditions and qualification criteria, and will submit these to the ICC Board for approval in due course.”
ICC approves 3 new playing conditions
In the recently concluded meeting, the following changes to the ICC Playing Conditions were approved:
TV Umpire review of a no ball on the fall of a wicket can now include waist-high full tosses and bouncers above shoulder height
The formal introduction of a two-step process when the umpire believes the condition of the ball has been changed, but there is no eyewitness to identify which player changed the condition of the ball:
i) Replace the ball and give the captain a first and final warning
ii) Award a five-run penalty to the batting team, replace the ball (with the batsman to choose) and report the captain under the ICC Code of Conduct
Zing wickets (with flashing LEDs in the bails and stumps) are approved for use in ODI and T20 matches, subject to an independent assessment of the technology being received by the ICC.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2013.
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