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March 22, 2020

PCB suffers Rs200m loss with PSL’s early closure, says Wasim


March 22, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Chief Executive Wasim Khan claimed that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) lost Rs200 million in wake of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) V’s early wind-up, saying sports in general and cricket in particular will be facing tough challenges to regroup when by the grace of Almighty Allah the world overcomes COVID-19.

In a video conference participated by a group of journalists from all over Pakistan on Saturday, Wasim said the virus had completely changed the sports world and cricket was no exception.

“We are facing the toughest days in sports where no one is sure as to what will happen next. The coronavirus has forced sports organisers to postpone, cancel or abruptly stop ongoing events. After careful assessment of the situation, we also decided to postpone the PSL semi-finals and final. We are expecting a loss of around Rs200 million from gate money and other heads. We also lost the series against Bangladesh because of the threat of the virus — a further loss of around three to four million dollars. It is a global crisis not only for sports but for every segment of society.”

The PCB chief executive said the ICC and cricket boards would have to come up with a comprehensive plan to make up for the loss, both time-wise and financial, when we succeed in overcoming the virus in a few months.

“Many series have been postponed or cancelled because of the virus. Thank God, barring a one-day tournament we have already completed our domestic season. Other cricket playing countries are facing even worse scenario,” he said.

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

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

He lashed out at the cricketers who use social media in criticising their fellow players. “It is not right for an active player to speak against players’ inclusion in the team or not. Using social media for active cricketers to criticise players would not be tolerated. No other player, not even English players are permitted to speak against players and board policies. It is for the cricket boards to take decision. We are going to make a strict policy about that shortly,” Wasim replied to a question on Mohammad Hafeez criticising Sharjeel Khan’s inclusion in the national team.

Wasim said Sharjeel had completed his sentence. “It is up to Sharjeel to prepare himself for the future international commitment. If he is unfit he has no right to claim a place in the team.”

Wasim said for the time being the PCB had no financial constraints and was well-equipped to go ahead with their domestic and international plans.

“We have no financial problems and can continue our domestic and international businesses as usual.”

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’ standard for the future national and international commitments. It will be up to the provincial associations to utilise the services of ground staff the PCB had relieved, which previously was working with regional associations.

“Coaches’ assessment is also on the cards. We have time at our disposal and we want to use it proactively. We have already invested a lot on the Rawalpindi and Multan stadiums and also making the Peshawar Stadium ready for the next PSL edition.”

He said that there are windows available to complete the PSL V. “First is just after the T20 World Cup and second being in November. The remaining matches could well also be organised before the PSL VI. All decisions regarding remaining matches will be taken in consultation with the owners. Since the PSL was organised in Pakistan, we were expecting a set profit and that Rs200 million loss is from that expected amount.”

Wasim defended Misbahul Haq’s poor show as a coach with Islamabad United that finished last in PSL. When asked whether PCB was happy with his coaching prowess especially the one he had shown with United this fall, 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 12 months around. We want Misbah to get additional experience and that was why he and others were allowed for duel 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.”

He also hinted at taking action against all those cricketers who were guilty of acting nonsense on the field and during the course of PSL. Wasim rejected any chance of hosting Pakistan leg of international series on any outside venue. “Even England turned down West Indies offer. At the moment no country in the world is safe from virus.”