Sethi backs hybrid model to resolve Pak-India deadlock over WCup, Asia Cup

The Nation  |  Apr 01, 2023

ISLAMABAD      -       Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee, Najam Sethi, called for a rational approach to solve the looming crisis that threatens the successful hosting of the Asia Cup and the country’s participation in the ODI World Cup this year. Talking to the media on the occasion of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) meeting, Sethi said the Pakistan team’s chances of traveling to India for the ODI World Cup are low.

“In case of India’s refusal to travel to Pakistan to compete in the Asia Cup, chances are there that the Pakistan government would not allow the Men in Green to cross the borders for their World Cup participation. In that case, cricket will be the ultimate sufferer,” Sethi said. “There should be a middle way to solve problems that surely threaten the smooth hosting of ICC and ACC events. In case of India’s refusal to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup, the government will not allow us to travel to India to figure in the World Cup matches,” he added. Sethi dispelled the impression that Pakistan will suffer financial losses due to the team’s non-participation in the ODI World Cup.

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“The PSL has given us financial imputes and has made us stand sound. If there are any financial losses, it will be for both Boards,” he said. He reiterated that the hybrid model could well be the only solution to the problems whereby India and Pakistan would be allowed to play their respective matches at neutral venues. “We have already floated the idea of a hybrid model to the ACC member countries whereby India should be allowed to play their matches at neutral venue of their choice. When it comes to Pakistan’s participation in the October 2021 ODI World Cup, we will follow the same pattern,” he said. Sethi rationalised Pakistan’s defeat against low-ranked Afghanistan team, saying that selectors fielded an A team for the series.

“The thing is we wanted to try some youngsters as the media was too interested in creating chances for the PSL performers,” he said. “Two of the youngsters have cemented their places on the team while those failing will have to work hard for the next opportunity. Now selectors have a better knowledge of the team’s formation for the series against New Zealand.” Sethi revealed that Women League matches, where four teams will compete, would be organised during the next PSL.

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“We have decided to organise Women League matches during the PSL Nine to avoid extra logistic expenditures. Four teams will be in the run for the title. We have already received encouraging interest in buying women league franchises and hopefully, more interested parties will come forward,” he said. Sethi told the NA Standing Committee on IPC that the PCB had been under pressure in recent times to add two more franchise teams in the PSL from the next season onward.

“That option is under consideration in consultation with the franchise owners,” Sethi revealed. On his personal association with the PCB, he said he was head of the interim body with the mandate to restore the 2014 constitution and to hold the PCB elections. “We are well on track to achieve both targets within the next 45 days. I am working as honorary chairman and have already applied almost fifty percent cut on salaries of those getting over Rs1 million. We will soon increase the salaries of all low-paid employees,” he concluded.

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