The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) governing body decided against approving the ‘Big Three’ proposal, expressing ‘serious concerns’ on the model prepared by India, England and Australia cricket bodies.
With the situation of indecision prevailing, the reservations shown by the PCB governors cannot be considered an outright rejection of the proposal by the cricketing body.
It was an intensive meeting at the PCB headquarters in Lahore on Monday that lasted for over five hours as the proposed changes to the International Cricket Council (ICC) were discussed at length.
“The board members deliberated and expressed serious concerns on the model proposed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), England and Wales Cricket Broad (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA),” said the PCB media release following the meeting. “It was found that the proposal was neither in line with principle of equity nor in the interest of cricket.
“The Board authorised PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf and Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmad to engage with other Board members to find common ground and take other requisite remedial measures in the interest of Pakistan.”
‘Meeting Patron significant’
Ashraf, who chaired the meeting, later told the press that he would like to meet PCB Patron Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif before leaving for the ICC meeting next week.
“We have deliberated extensively on the matter,” he said. “I want to apprise the PM and take his suggestion before the meeting.”
The next ICC meeting is scheduled to be held in Singapore on February 8 where the decision on the ‘Big Three’ proposal to take control of the ICC is expected to be taken.
“I will convey public sentiments and the governing body’s stance. We will push for improvement in the proposal and do what is best in the interest of Pakistan cricket.”
‘Opposing Three’ plan tri-nation event: Ashraf
The ‘Big Three’ require just one vote to see a change in the ICC constitution, with Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) along with the PCB yet to decide their stance.
Media reports on Monday suggested that CSA has agreed to the ‘Big Three’ proposal but Ashraf stressed that the ‘Opposing Three’ were still on the same line.
“We are in contact with those cricket boards. So far, none of the three boards have taken a decision in this regard.”
The PCB chairman added that the three countries were also in talks for a tri-nation tournament.
“Discussions have been made to hold Jinnah-Mandela Trophy featuring Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa, with the revenue to be shared equally.”
Ashraf said he was also in talks with the BCCI, who have expressed willingness to play a home series with Pakistan in the UAE.
Meanwhile, the PCB chairman hinted at the announcement of a new selection committee shortly.
Will Patron meet Ashraf?
Despite repeated requests, Ashraf failed to get time from the Patron to meet over the ‘Big Three’ proposal.
Whether PM Nawaz will meet the PCB chairman has become a million-dollar question.
It has been learned that the Prime Minister is reluctant to meet Ashraf, whose restoration saw the ousting of his Interim Management Committee.
However, officials close to the matter stated that since the governing body meeting did not reach a concrete decision on the PCB’s stance over ICC’s reforms, the meeting with the Patron now seems inevitable.
It is also believed that a change in the PCB command is unlikely before the ICC meeting. Ashraf might have to take the lead in making a decision, if the Patron continues to ignore him.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2014.