Monday, December 7, 2009

"Ind-Pak series can solve crunch"

A bilateral series against India, even at a neutral venue, can solve the financial crunch, PCB chairman Ejaz Butt said.

Butt told a news conference in Lahore that the PCB was losing nearly 71 per cent of its revenues after the suspension of international matches in Pakistan due to the prevailing security conditions here.

"We are losing a lot of revenues from sale of our television rights because teams are not willing to come to Pakistan and this is what I informed the ICC special task force on Pakistan in Dubai," he said.

Butt said during his recent visit to India he had met BCCI officials and requested them to take steps to resume bilateral ties with Pakistan as soon as possible.

"The vibes I got from the Indians were positive and we are hopeful they would soon get clearance from their government to play bilateral series with us at neutral venues," he said.

Butt said that since India was the biggest commercial market for cricket, obviously broadcasters wanted rights of maximum matches featuring the Indian team.

"But overall for Pakistan, it is a woeful situation because leave alone India, no team is willing to tour our country at the moment and we don't know when the situation will improve," he added.

Butt also made it clear that the PCB had fulfilled all the requirements asked for by the Indian Premier League for the Pakistani players to take part in the tournament next year.

"From our side we have given clearances from the ministries of sports, foreign affairs and interior to the IPL and have also informed them the board has no problems issuing NOCs to its players now," he said.

But he pointed out that now the ball was in the court of the IPL organisers.
"Now they have to get back to us with clearance from their government for our players to play in India," he stated.

He said the IPL had initially asked NOC for five players -- Kamran Akmal, Misbah-ul-Haq, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul and Abdul Razzaq -- which were being sent to them.

"Once the Indian government also gives clearance to our players then I am sure many more of our players will get a chance to play in the league next year and we can start the visa process for them," Butt said.

On Younus Khan's availability for the tour to Australia, the PCB Chairman said that the senior batsman would confirm to the board whether he wanted to be considered for the Australian tour by tomorrow.

Butt is also due to meet with chief selector Iqbal Qasim to decide on the captaincy issue for the Australian tour.

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