KARACHI: The decision to send the Pakistan team for the ODI World Cup in India next year will be taken at the government level, the new Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi has said.
Speaking with reference to the threat made by his predecessor, Ramiz Raja, that Pakistan will consider pulling out of the mega event if India didn’t come to Pakistan for the Asia Cup, Sethi said on Monday that, “if the government says don’t go to India, we will not go”.
“Where Pakistan and India’s cricket relations are concerned, let’s be clear. (The)decisions on whether to play or not play tour or not tour are always taken at the government level,” Sethi told a press conference in Karachi.
“These are decisions only taken at the government level; the PCB can only seek clarity.”
Sethi added that he will be in touch with the Asian Cricket Council on the issue of the Asia Cup, which Pakistan is scheduled to host next year.
“I will see what the situation is and then move forward. Any decision we take, we have to make sure we are not isolated.”
Sethi also said he or the PCB had no objection if Raja decided to return to the commentary box.
“I have a lot of respect for Ramiz and we would never oppose him returning to the commentary box.”
Sethi also rubbished the accounts of his expenditure put up by the previous PCB management on its website, saying that they were incorrect.
“When I go back to Lahore, the first thing I am going to do is (to) bring the factual position before the public. The figures given about me pertaining to expenses are not right at all,” said Sethi.
Sethi also defended the decision of the present Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to remove Raja as PCB chairman.
“I was chairman in 2018. When Imran Khan’s government was formed, I resigned although some people in (the) corridors of power told me no one will remove me. I have always believed that (the) prime minister has the right to choose his candidate to run cricket affairs, so I resigned.”
Sethi also said that he was in touch with Pakistan’s former head coach, Mickey Arthur as he wanted him back.
“Mickey is presently contracted with Derbyshire and I have spoken to him. The situation will become clear in the next 8-10 days and we have sought his advice on the new coaching setup for the team.
“When he (Arthur) was with the team, he did a lot of good work and he was responsible for pushing Babar Azam forward. He also maintained a lot of discipline and fitness in the team. I believe he will be good for the team again if he is available.”