Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Najam Sethi today (April 23) addressed reporters in Kolkata and pointed out that resumption of bilateral Indo-Pak cricketing ties is solely dependent on India's will.
BCCI can only go ahead and play Pakistan after it receives clearance from the Indian government. Right now, the two countries only play in multi-team events like 50-over World Cup, Champions Trophy, World T20 and Asia Cup.
"Firstly, the two sides need to play each other for the sake of the people of the sub-continent. Secondly, the ball is in the BCCI's court. That's it. We hope sooner than later better sense will prevail and the two sides can get back to playing good cricket again. My sense is that all this is a melting pot and at some stage or the other, we will have to have a good resolution," Sethi told PTI during an interaction.
PCB has asked BCCI to pay up $70 million for refusing to play a bilateral series, violating a 2014 memorandum of understanding under which the two were to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023. A three member ICC panel will hear the claim in October.
"I'm not at liberty to discuss the issue as per orders of the tribunal. There's going to be no comments on that issue. Those are the orders of the tribunal."
Najam Sethi said, "Our position is that we are okay with what's been allocated right now but this is subject to the decision of the tribunal. Because, obviously it's a case that's still pending and our currently is subject to whatever resolution that finally finds. See, right now India has not slotted Pakistan into any of the matches. Our position is that whatever we sign right now is going to be subject to the decision of the tribunal. If the tribunal holds in our favour then the FTP will have to be changed to accordingly."
"I'm just surprised that there's not sufficient media pressure here in India for resumption of cricketing ties between India and Pakistan. I am sure the people of the two countries want to see cricket between the two countries. There's a lot of goodwill on both sides so let's hope that the issue can be resolved in the interest of the fans. There's no rough weather between the two Boards. There's no problem at all," Sethi said in an assuring tone.
Najam Sethi pointed out that successful organization of PSL matches in Pakistan, will help in bringing international cricket back to Pakistan.
Sethi said, “It's unfortunate that given a situation -- a hangover from the past (2009 terrorist attack) we are still unable to play all our matches. But we are taking (small steps) to bring PSL back to Pakistan, as we are hoping that bilateral cricket will also come back to Pakistan. PSL is very popular at home. It receives the highest possible ratings ever in the history of Pakistan TV and broadcast medium. Our effort is to bring PSL to Pakistan so that we can play all our matches at home.”
2018 Emerging Teams' Asia Cup will be co-hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka and ACC chairman Sethi said, "Another important step in this direction is that the ACC has just agreed that the Emerging Asia Cup will be played partly in Pakistan and partly in Sri Lanka. Absolutely, we are just hoping that everything returns to normalcy between India and Pakistan.”
Najam Sethi also gave his views on the ball tampering and players’ behavior.
Sethi explained, "Cheating of any sort should be looked down upon. Strict measures should be taken to punish those indulging in cheating. Match-fixing, spot-fixing, ball-tampering are all instances of cheating. We should have very strict punishments for these. Therefore now the ICC should be taking strong measures against it. The current PCB takes a very dim view of any cheating, match-fixing and spot-fixing. We have already punished two or three players very severely. We take a very strong view. I hope and expect all other Boards will also strong view of such instances."
Shashank Manohar's extension as the chairman will be one of the key points of discussion as the member nations of the ICC.
(With PTI Inputs)