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March 22, 2020

Winding up PSL early cost PCB Rs200 million: CEO

Sports

March 22, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Executive Officer Wasim Khan has claimed losing Rs200 million because of early winding up of Pakistan Super League (PSL).

In a video-conference on Saturday, he said sports in general and cricket in particular will be facing the toughest challenges to regroup when the virus was overcome.

Wasim said the virus had completely changed the sporting world and cricket was no exception. “Look we are facing the toughest days in sports where no one is sure what would happen next. The Coronavirus has forced sports organisers to postpone, cancel or abruptly stop the ongoing event. After careful assessment of the situation, we also decided to postpone the PSL V just before the start of the semi-finals. We are expecting a loss of around Rs200 million from gate money and other support earning. We also lost the series against Bangladesh because of the threats of virus. A further loss of around three to four million dollar is expected from not hosting Bangladesh for Test and one off one-day,” he said.

He admitted that the ICC and different cricketing boards around the world would have to come up with a comprehensive plan to make up for the lost time and finances. “Though it is too early to say anything on the overall cricketing loss, if we succeed in overcoming the virus in a few months, the ICC as well as all leading cricketing boards will have to come up with a plan to make up for the financial and administrative losses. Many cricketing series either have been postponed or delayed because of the virus. Thanks God, barring one-day tournament we have already completed out domestic cricket. Other cricket playing countries are facing even worse scenarios where one after another series has either been postponed or delayed,” the PCB CEO said.

Wasim said that now the PCB was looking at new sponsorship and broadcasting rights. “Bangladesh series was the last one with the old broadcasting deal. We are lucky enough that immediately we are not facing any international cricket and hopefully by the time we would have one, things Inshallah would be in a better position,” he added.

About Pakistan’s international commitments in Ireland, England and Holland, he said PCB and respective boards had time at their disposal. “England are to take make their next move by May 28 and hopefully we would be better placed to decide at that time on the future commitments, especially in England. Pakistan are to play England late in July. So there is enough time left for respective boards,” said Wasim.

He said for the time being the PCB had no financial constraints and was well equipped to go ahead with domestic and international plans. “We have no financial problems and can continue our domestic and international business as usual,” he stated.

On the domestic front, he admitted there was a lot to do. “We are to announce formation of provincial associations shortly and are going to improve the grounds standards for future national and international commitments. It will be up to the provincial associations to utilise the services of ground workers the PCB relieved who previously were working with regional associations. Coaches assessment is also on cards. We have time at our disposal and we want to use it proactively. We have already invested a lot on Pindi, Multan and making the Peshawar Stadium ready for next PSL edition,” said Wasim.

He said that there were windows available to complete the PSL V. “First is just after the T20 World Cup and second in November. The remaining matches could well also be organised before the HBL PSL VI. We are looking at these options considering all the relevant options. All decisions regarding PSL whether these are on finances or other matters including hosting remaining PSL matches will be taken in consultation with the owners. Since the PSL for the first time was organised in Pakistan, we were expecting a profit and that Rs200 million loss is from that expected amount,” he elaborated.

He defended Misbah-ul-Haq’s poor show as a coach with Islamabad United team that finished last in the PSL V. When asked whether PCB was happy with his coaching prowess, he said, “Look he had joined United just days ahead of the start of the PSL V. He has improved as a coach internationally. He has been working with players twelve months around. We want Misbah to get additional experience and that was why he and others were allowed dual jobs. Luck also matters sometimes. Islamabad United would definitely assess the situation. We will also sit with Misbah as important events are coming up and if he requires any assistant we would consider that. We would definitely assess his status after one year,” said Wasim.