Former chief-executive tells PCB to stop relying on India

September 18th, 2008 - 5:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Sep 18 (IANS) Former national cricket chief Arif Ali Abbasi has advised Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to stop relying on its powerful Indian counterpart and start making efforts to stand on its own feet.Abbasi, a former chief executive of the Pakistan board, told IANS in an interview Thursday that too much reliance on India is now hurting Pakistan cricket.

“You will have to stop this total reliance on India,” said Abbasi, who is widely tipped to make a comeback in the PCB as its CEO.

“Pakistan is a full member of the International Cricket Council just like India and it should have its own weight,” added the man, who was instrumental in holding the 1996 World Cup in the sub-continent.

“We can’t just sit back and let India solve our problems. That is not going to happen,” he stressed.

In recent times, the PCB has been relying on India to bail it out from difficult situations. But the PCB was in for an unpleasant surprise when in spite of India’s support, the ICC postponed the Champions Trophy which was supposed to take place here this month.

The move came after five of the eight competing teams threatened to boycott the event because of security concerns.

Earlier this year Australia refused to tour Pakistan citing security fears. But the Aussies this week decided to go ahead with plans of visiting India just days after serial blasts rocked New Delhi.

“It was farcical when Pakistan’s (former) cricket chief (Nasim Ashraf) said that ‘thanks to India’s help, the Champions Trophy will be held in Pakistan’”.

“Such statements have really annoyed the rest of the world. The fact that the Champions Trophy was not held in Pakistan is a clear proof of that,” said Abbasi.

Abbasi said Pakistan will have to lobby extensively to improve its reputation as a cricketing destination.

“We will have to reach out to the rest of the world. We will have to lobby with their decision-makers to ensure that normalcy returns to Pakistan cricket.”

The Oxford-educated Abbasi, who enjoys a good rapport with top cricket bosses around the world, said that Pakistan cricket has hit rock bottom but was hopeful that with proper measures it can make a comeback.

“Things have gone really bad but thankfully all is not lost. We are still capable of saving our cricket and make it flourish like it did several years ago. With careful planning and concerted efforts, we can lift our cricket out of the present crisis.”

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