LAHORE: Returning home after attending the International Cricket Council meeting in London, Pakistan Cricket Board acting chairman Najam Sethi verified rumours that there had been efforts to get Pakistan’s membership suspended, Express News reported.
Landing in Lahore early on Wednesday, Sethi desisted from taking any names but said that some people, including former board officials had attempted to get Pakistan suspended.
“But when they [ICC officials] met us, they supported us and the new [board] constitution.”
Sethi said that he did not want to get into a blame game, but will instead sit with the concerned people and talk the matter out.
No international matches
The acting chairman said that while decisions regarding international matches had been taken in the previous ICC meeting, the current security situation in Pakistan had almost ruled out any prospect of international cricket returning to home soil any time soon.
“After Sri Lanka, attack, no team wants to come to play here, not even Bangladesh. Maximum we can do is ask them (ICC) to review after a year. But they demand assurances and demonstrable progress.”
Lawyer for Amir
Sethi said that after much pleading the ICC had agreed to form a sub-committee to look at the anti-corruption laws and see how, after the five year sentence ends, can Mohammad Amir play test cricket again.
Sethi claimed that the review was a big win and that now he and his colleagues had decided to hire a British lawyer for Amir.
“We will hire a white lawyer in UK, since they react to our skin colour, to look at the anti-corruption laws and look at ways to get at least 20% relief for Amir.”
On a question about Salman Butt, Sethi said that while Amir had repented and sought rehabilitation, Butt on the other hand had gone to every court, and it was only after he had been turned away that he admitted his guilt.
Sethi said that England cricket board and county chief Giles Clark said that “they were ready to listen but Salman Butt, Kaneria are not admitting their guilt.”Butt did not admit his mistake at any stage and has only now come out with it.
Unable to secure a home series, Sethi said that informal talks with the West Indies board chairman and the England board chief, they were working on bringing an unofficial team to play in Pakistan.
“Pakistan cricket is at the lowest rung, we are not winning, cricketers are cheating, no one wants to play here, things were never this bad.”
Sethi said that India dominates the ICC board, in part due to the IPL and the massive money it brings for players of different countries. “India does not have to plead its case, other nations now plead India's case for it.”
The PCB chairman added that he was informally communicated that if he wanted anything done, it would be better to try luck in New Delhi and get the prime minister to mend ties with India.
Talking about a petition in the court against his appointment, Sethi said that he was just an acting chairman and with his new show due to start on Friday July 5, 2013, he would like nothing better than to go back to his old life.
“But then who will take care of the team selection for the upcoming tours of West Indies and Zimbabwe?”
The PCB acting chairman said that there was no use in pushing petitions, rather problems should be solved together. He added that if a chairman had been appointed by the prime minister on the orders of the court and that he had also been accepted by the ICC, he should be allowed to continue.
“If the courts now start appointing [chairmen], I want the court to appoint a chairman. And if the team then loses, then the judge who appoints him, it will be his responsibility to explain.”
Sethi said that he had had no time to tinker with the selection committee, hence the current set up that he inherited will be asked to come up with a team for the upcoming tours.
“I will make the cricketers, coach, selectors sit and tell them to endorse the team. Win or lose, they will then be responsible.”
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