Tuesday October 05, 2021

Strong Financial System Is A Key For Good Cricket: Chairman PCB

Karachi: Pakistan cricket is relying mainly on funding by the International Cricket Council and will suffer if it it stops for some reason, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja has said.

Speaking to Karachi’s business community at the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Ramiz said its contribution is key towards Pakistan becoming a superpower in the cricket world.

“Our cricket is relying on ICC’s funding right now and when I see the books, I get very scared because the contribution of local enterpreneaurs is minimal,” said the PCB chief.

With the ever changing economic situation across the globe due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Ramiz suggested it was dangerous to totally rely on world’s cricket governing body. “Whenever ICC is in a mood to give us Rs10 instead of Rs100, say, due to the Covid, then our situation will worsen from a financial point of view,” he said.

“Then we won’t be able to invest in the nurseries, the cricketers won’t get paid enough,” he said, adding that to avoid such a situation, the business community’s investments are key.

“So its important that we and you are on the same page, its about the national spirit,” said Ramiz.

He revealed Pakistan stands at a very weak position as compared to its neighbours. “The pie of our cricket from the financial point of view is just 5% percent as compared to our neighbouring countries where interest is massive and due to investments there teams have surpassed us.”

Ramiz said he learned two things from the abrupt withdrawal of the New Zealand cricket team from their tour of Pakistan and England’s apologetic refusal to visit for two scheduled Twenty-20 Internationals after that.

“What I realised after New Zealand and England’s pull-out is that there are two ways such countries can be stopped from taking such a step again.

if your team is the world’s best, no one will have the audacity to use you and throw you in the bin.if your cricket economy is strong then their interest will remain. The Pakistan Super League does help us with that, but on an individual level, but to sustain it at a collective level, its very important that we’ve money, our team is the best in the world and our cricket grounds are better.

Chairman PCB Ramiz Raja struck the gong to open trading for Today. The Chairman also met the PSX Board members.

Ramiz said it was to improve Pakistan’s cricket economy that he visited the PSX, adding that without money, the sport in the country cannot grow.

“If Pakistan wants to produce great talent, it can’t happen until we resolve our issues,” he said. “Money is needed everywhere, we’ll provide the direction and the business community will pump in its resources.”

The 1992 World Cup winner said the PCB is ready to guide its potential commercial partners on how to get involved in the sport and what are the ways in which they can be helpful.

“Business community has stayed confused on how they can get involved and avail the opportunities. We’ll tell you about them, we’ll tell you about our properties,” said Ramiz.

“We also want to take direction from you on how a sporting organisation can rise to match the likes of the establishments. I’d like to see you inject into our cricket economy.

“If you ask for help we will help and we are open to listen to you as well. At the end, it needs to be a collective effort.”

Ramiz said the national team’s preparation for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup are well underway, but was not very confident about Pakistan’s prospects at the event, citing unresolved issues in the grassroots cricket structure.

“We’re preparing for the World Cup and trying our best that we finalise the best team for it,” said the former Test opener. “The national team is a product of your grassroots cricket and unfortunately not much work has been done on that.

“Our school cricket is also reviving, entrepreneurs and financial houses are needed in that. Our club cricket has been left behind, there’s a lack of ground, the pitches are not good enough. Drop in pitches are needed since pitches make the base of your cricket.

“When our team does well, only then we can expect investments. It will take some time, but once we are on the track, we’ll reap the benefits.”

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