Strained relations with India hurdle to revive Asian Bloc: PCB

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is keen to revive a strong Asian bloc in world cricket but believes strained cricket relations with India are a hurdle in the way.

Khan has said that for Asian Bloc to be influential again, India and Pakistan need to work on the same wavelength.   -  Sushil Kumar Verma

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is keen to revive a strong Asian bloc in world cricket but believes strained cricket relations with India are a hurdle in the way.

PCB chairman, Shaharyar Khan returned home from Colombo after chairing the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting without any one-to-one meeting with the Indian cricket board officials or discussions on revival of Indo-Pak cricket.

“The Asian bloc can be revived in world cricket and made infuential again but first Pakistan and India need to work on the same wavelength,” Khan said.

“In the past when Pakistan and Indian cricket boards worked closely together the Asian cricket nations contributed a lot to world cricket and carried a lot of clout in the ICC. This also led to the World Cup being jointly hosted in the subcontinent and South Asian region and more revenues being generated from cricket broadcasting,” Khan recalled.

The former career diplomat said unfortunately in recent years the Asian bloc had fallen apart since India had not played Pakistan in a full bilateral series since 2007.

The PCB chief was confident that given the strong base of cricket in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and with Afghanistan coming up strongly, the Asian bloc could be revived to become a strong influence in world cricket even though there was no doubt that India had become a strong cricket nation because of its big market for the game.

“But first India needs to resume playing with Pakistan at a bilateral level. Because even in the past it was Pakistan and India which led the Asian bloc with their cooperation and joint planning and working.”

Khan also admitted that the Big three concept of governance and revenue distribution had led to the ACC losing its strength in recent years.

Khan was, however, confident that the ACC would be able to host a world class Asia Cup in 2018 with the cooperation of all the member boards.

“The PCB believes that politics and sports should be kept apart and we are always ready for talks on bilateral series. But it is also a fact that whenever bilateral cricket is revived Pakistan will be the hosts and not India as they owe us two series.”