Sethi: ‘Not meeting Indian government officials’

Pakistan Cricket Board chief Najam Sethi, currently in India for a series of ICC meetings, will also meet BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary.

Pakistan Cricket Board chief Najam Sethi, currently in India for a series of ICC meetings, will also meet BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary.   -  AFP

 

The Pakistan Cricket Board chief, Najam Sethi, has rubbished speculations that he would meet Indian union ministers to get clarity on the India-Pakistan bilateral series.

Ever since Sethi and the board’s chief operating officer, Subhan Ahmed, were granted Indian visas for the International Cricket Council meeting in Kolkata; speculations were rife that the PCB chief could meet some of the top union ministers and a few ministry officials in New Delhi to get a clearer idea on the future of Indo-Pak cricketing relations.

“I have no plans to meet any Indian government officials on any matter,” Sethi told Sportstar from Kolkata on Monday. “I will only meet Rahul (Johri) and Amitabh (Chaudhary) during the meeting. That’s it.”

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While he indicated that the commencement of the India-Pakistan series depends a lot on the Indian government, Sethi did not want to speak much about the compensation issue — which is being looked into by the ICC.

The PCB has claimed $70 million as compensation against India for refusing to play a bilateral series, violating a 2014 memorandum of understanding under which the two were to play six bilateral tournaments between 2015 and 2023. “The India-Pakistan dispute is before the ICC. We are not allowed to comment. No bilateral talks on this issue are planned either,” the seasoned administrator stated.

While the PCB chief made it clear that the ICC meeting will not have much Pakistan-specific agenda and will discuss the ‘routine matters’, he was happy to have brought international cricket to Pakistan.

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“The ICC has put the matter of return of international cricket to Pakistan amongst the top objectives of its strategic plans. It is also helping oversee security arrangements for teams wanting to visit Pakistan,” Sethi said, drawing reference to last year’s ICC World XI tour to Lahore.

But then, what will be PCB’s stand if Shashank Manohar, the present ICC chairman, is offered an extension? “I understand that the candidates for the ICC chair will be nominated soon. We shall take a decision after that.”

Earlier, Sethi had indicated that the PCB was looking at Malaysia as its overseas ‘home venue’ after the Emirates Cricket Board decided to host the Afghanistan Premier League in the UAE.

“Malaysia will become an alternative venue option for us if the Emirates Cricket Board creates a conflict of interest situation by sanctioning any Leagues in the UAE during the period October to March when all our fixtures are scheduled in Dubai and Sharjah,” Sethi admitted.