We will survive the setback, says Pakistan cricket chief

By Omar Khalid, IANS,

Karachi : Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ijaz Butt said Thursday that Pakistan will try to move on from the shock of India series cancellation, saying that he is personally leading efforts to fix Test and one-dayers for his match-starved cricketers.

Support TwoCircles

Butt told IANS his Board will face major financial losses and cricketers some action because of the decision to cancel the series. But he vowed that Pakistan cricket will survive the setback.

India Thursday refused to give the go-ahead to its cricket team’s tour to Pakistan from Jan 4-Feb 18 because of last month’s terror attacks in Mumbai. The Indian government says the terrorists involved in the attacks came and operated from Pakistan.

India was supposed to play three Tests, five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 International during the tour.

Butt said the cancellation of the series was a setback for cricket in the region. The former Pakistan Test opener said the cricket boards tried their best to save the series from becoming a victim of the strained relations between the two countries.

“But in the end, it was a decision taken by the Indian government as the matter was out of the hands of the two boards,” he said.

Butt, 71, said the cancellation of the much-awaited series will not affect the cricket ties between the two countries.

“We tried our best to save the series,” he said. “I went to India myself to discuss the matter with my Indian counterpart and know for sure that the Indian cricket board was also very keen on playing the series. But in the end it was a political decision,” he said.

Butt is confident that Pakistan-India cricketing ties will resume once the political situation between the two neighbours improves.

The PCB chairman said Pakistan will suffer “huge losses” because of the cancellation.

It is estimated that Pakistan will lose almost Rs. 1.55 billion because of the cancellation.

Also, the PCB will lose a huge chunk of $140.5 million television rights deal with Gulf-based Ten Sports channel.