Pakistan reserves the right to pull out of Asia Cup next year, Sethi warns BCCI
December 28, 2017
objection over Pakistan hosting the 2018 Emerging Teams Asia Cup might force
the latter to exercise its ‘right’ to pull out of the Asia Cup which will be
staged in India in September next year, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman
Najam Sethi warned on Tuesday.
India and Bangladesh were absent during the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting
in Lahore in October after they raised their aforementioned objections in a
meeting earlier in Dubai which led to the decision that Pakistan will host the
Emerging Teams Asia Cup in April 2018.
“The ACC Development
Committee head and Sri Lanka Cricket chairman Thilanga Sumathipala tried to
convince India and Bangladesh that they were also invited to attend the meeting
[in Lahore] but they did not come. So the committee, with majority members’
votes, went on to make the decision in favour of Pakistan,” said Sethi at the
national team’s new kit unveiling ceremony here.
“I also raised the point
that since the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is still awaiting
an approval from the government to hold the Asia Cup and wants the visa
clearance of all the participating teams, the PCB will decide whether to go to
India or not because we are also bound by our government’s clearance,” he
“Over this situation,
all the member countries decided to defer the discussion and take a final
The PCB chairman
admitted that the longer format of the game is struggling to attract sponsors
which was evident when the PCB’s Board of Governors suggested in a meeting that
the country’s premier first-class competition Quaid-i-Azam Trophy be
However, Sethi believed
the traditional format shall be adhered with whether it attracts any sponsors
or not. “Representatives from four regions and well-reputed departments are a
part of the BoG, but none of them could offer the sponsorship for the
Quaid-i-Azam Trophy,” he said.
“But the fact is that
the PCB has to invest on the Trophy, even if no sponsors come forward.”
He expressed delight at
the fact that Pakistan will be playing 121 matches in the next four years as
per the International Cricket Council (ICC) Future Tours Programme finalised
He criticised the local
media for running damaging news items picked up from the Indian media outlets
which suggested Pakistan will be playing just 104 matches.
“An old document about
the FTP was leaked from India, according to which Pakistan were to play 104
matches in the next four years,” he said.
“The PCB, like other
cricket boards is not allowed by the ICC to make any comments about the FTP in
public, but to defuse the propaganda we were forced to inform the media about
the real facts unofficially,” added the PCB chairman.
“The PCB, in fact, has
done a great job to earn 121 matches for the national team in the next four
years and most of them are against strong cricketing nations.”
However, Sethi said
Pakistan will not accept the FTP if it won the ongoing legal battle against
India pending with the ICC dispute resolution committee over the Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) that both the countries signed in 2014 and which ensured
Pakistan and India would be playing six bilateral series during 2015-2023.
“If Pakistan wins the
case, India will have to give us the matches and for that purpose the FTP will
be changed,” said Sethi. “And if we lose, the same FTP with some minor changes
may go ahead.”
Meanwhile, the Pakistan
Telecommunications Company Limited signed an agreement with the PCB to sponsor
the national team for the upcoming three-match Twenty20 International series
against New Zealand in January.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz
Ahmed, prolific middle-order batsman Babar Azam and opener Fakhar Zaman were
also present on the occasion.