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June 27, 2020

PCB keeps domestic cricket on top priority

Sports

June 27, 2020

KARACHI: Ehsan Mani, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has rejected offers to contest the election for the post of International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman in order to focus on Pakistan cricket.

Mani, who chaired an online meeting of PCB’s Board of Governors on Friday, told BoG members that he stays committed to PCB.

Mani confirmed that he had been approached by some ICC Directors for the ICC Chairman’s role, but reiterated his commitment to Pakistan cricket. Mani also said he has raised the visa issues for Pakistan cricket teams for the upcoming ICC Events in India. On the ACC, Mani confirmed the PCB has offered Sri Lanka Cricket to swap the ACC T20 Cup, with the ACC Board expected to make the decision in due course.

Mani updated the BoG on his meeting with the PCB Patron, including discussions around legislation on criminalising corruption in sports. In this relation, Mani submitted to the Patron a draft proposal, which provides a short background on the menace of corruption and its impact on the integrity of sports; reviews the existing legislation enacted within Pakistan whilst noting that the same fail to adequately target and address corruption/illegal manipulation in sports; recommends the inclusion of certain provisions which, specifically target criminalisation of corruption in sports pertaining to corruption, illegal manipulation, betting, match and spot-fixing as well as aiding and abetting such conduct; and proposes the penalties to be imposed on individuals found guilty of engaging in such offences.

The BoG expressed satisfaction on the steps taken and processes followed prior to sending the Pakistan men’s national cricket team to England, but expressed concerns on the number of positive tests. On the basis the Covid-19 and cricket is likely to co-exist in the foreseeable future, the BoG advised the PCB to put in place stricter measures to ensure health and safety of all its elite cricketers.

Meanwhile, the BoG approved a PKR7.76billion operating expenditure budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year, which is a 10 per cent reduction from the 2019-20 budget as part of the PCB’s austerity, robust financial management and belt-tightening exercise.

The Board has allocated 71.2 per cent of the overall budget for cricket-related activities. This is to ensure that despite tough financial situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, cricket remains unaffected and the PCB continues to invest in the future.

The allocated 71.2 per cent cricket budget includes 25.2 per cent for domestic cricket (events and players/match officials/player support personnel contracts and High Performance Centre costs), 19.3 per cent for international cricket (home/away series and player contracts), 5.5 per cent for women’s cricket (home/away cricket and player contracts), 19.7 per cent for HBL PSL 2021 and 1.5 per cent for Medical and Sport Sciences.

While forecasting shortfall in revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has left the fate of revenues from international events hanging in balance and may also affect PCB’s commercial programme, the BoG has agreed to continue investment on infrastructure development by approving a PKR1.22billion budget for capital expenditure, a reduction of approximately PKR800million from 2019-20.

“We have followed a strict cost-benefit and value for money policy while preparing this budget taking into consideration the economic situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The budget caters for all critical business of cricket activities, while the nice-to-have activities have been set aside as part of our cost-cutting measures and to protect our reserves for the future,” Mani said.