PCB threatens India to pull out of Asia Cup

Najam Sethi, Chairman, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) - InsideSport

Pakistan Cricket Board has threatened the Board of Control for Cricket in India to exercise its “right” to pull out of the Asia Cup.

The PCB chairman in a desperate response to India’s objection over Pakistan hosting the 2018 Emerging Teams Asia Cup, has served a warning that the PCB may be forced to exercise its “right” to opt out of the Asia Cup cricket tournament.

India is scheduled to host the Asia Cup in September next year.

After the BCCI, the Bangladesh Cricket Board has also refused to play in the upcoming Asian Emerging Cup. Earlier, the BCCI had objected to Pakistan being awarded the hosting of the tournament.

The BCCI and BCB had abstained from the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting in Lahore in October. The two cricket boards had earlier raised their objections to Pakistan getting the right to host the Asian Emerging Cup in a meeting in Duba. However, the PCB was given the rights to 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,” Pakistan’s English language daily The Dawn has quoted Sethi as saying in Lahore.

“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,” Sethis has added.

“Over this situation, all the member countries decided to defer the discussion and take a final decision later.”

Sethi has also 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. He also “unofficially,” told the local media that Pakistan will be playing 121 matches in the next four years as per the International Cricket Council (ICC) Future Tours Programme finalised recently.

“An old document about the FTP was leaked from India, according to which Pakistan was to play 104 matches in the next four years,” Sethi had 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’s 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.”

The PCB is seeking $70 million compensation from the BCCI for not playing bilateral matches in the terror-torn nation or at a neutral venue. The Indian side has insisted that the State-sponsored terrorism from across the border and sporting ties cannot co-exist between the two neighbours.