New Zealand has contacted PCB to reschedule Pakistan tour: Ramiz Raja

Chairman Pakistan Cricket (PCB) Board Ramiz Raja on Thursday said that the New Zealand Cricket has contacted the Pakistan Cricket Board regarding the rescheduling of the home series against Pakistan and “good news will be announced within a week”.

Speaking before the Senate Standing Committee on Interprovincial Coordination on different aspects and future goals set up for Pakistan cricket, Raja said: “The PCB may put forward its terms before the NZC by choosing the month of November in 2022 for the rescheduling of the recently postponed series.”

‘PCB must strengthen financial status to increase value internationally’

He also said that the PCB must strengthen its financial status to increase its value before the International Cricket Council (ICC) as well as other cricket boards.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) generates 90% of the revenue for ICC whereas the PCB gives nothing, he said. 

“The ICC provides 50% funds to PCB. I’m afraid Pakistan Cricket may collapse if BCCI stopped funding the ICC.”

Raja further said: “The truth is that money is now everything in world cricket. PCB has to strengthen its financial status in order to increase its value before the ICC.”

Raja said that the PCB, in future, will not only generate money for itself but for the ICC as well.

The PCB chief is currently holding meetings with different businessmen of the country for the sake of enhancing investment in Pakistan Cricket.

“There are two companies that have offered to sponsor drop-in pitches for different stadiums of Pakistan and it will cost around $1 million per drop-in pitch,” he said.

He said that one of the sponsors has offered a blank cheque to Pakistan Cricket with the condition of defeating India in the upcoming T20 World Cup. 

He also spoke about other upcoming series that Pakistan will host and said that the PCB plans to schedule the tri-series on regular basis at home with West Indies, South Africa, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka which will “help to build a bloc against influential cricket boards.” 

“West Indies Cricket Board are optimistic to tour Pakistan in December 2021 whereas Australia will also be forced to think twice regarding decision making on touring Pakistan in February 2021,” he said.

Raja also appreciated the English media by naming former test captain of England, Mike Atherton, who bluntly spoke about and exposed the injustice done to Pakistan Cricket by the England Cricket Board.

‘No room for match match-fixing’

The PCB chief categorically stood staunch on his opinions regarding cricketers involved in spot-fixing. “I was and I am against fixers. You can’t allow a cricketer to play for Pakistan again who was once involved in fixing and had damaged the global image of Pakistan Cricket.”

He said that bringing back fixers give the wrong impression to budding cricketers. 

“I feel disappointed when the national team faces a defeat and cricket fans right away start demanding for comebacks of cricketers with fixing allegations.”

Need for infrastructure development, changing coaches

During the meeting, Raja also expressed dissatisfaction over domestic coaches and the standard of pitches in Pakistan. “Not all but some domestic coaches are needed to be changed upon which a decision will be made within a month,” he said, adding that cricket stadiums of Pakistan with international status are not even worth entering. 

“The PCB has to improve the infrastructure of cricket stadiums but, unfortunately, we are short of money.”

Upon asking what message he would like to give to the T20 World Cup squad of Pakistan, Raja said “Pakistan Zindabad is the only message I want to give to our team as there can’t be a bigger slogan than Pakistan Zindabad for us.”