The Business Report
LONDON: One had expected more from Wasim Khan, the managing director of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
From the start of the World Cup, Wasim was in England apparently on a mission to garner support for Pakistan cricket and PCB’s campaign to permanently revive international cricket in the country.
After spending more than two weeks in England, Wasim headed for home following Pakistan’s embarrassing World Cup defeat against India at Old Trafford on Sunday.
He was back at the Board headquarters in Lahore earlier in the week and gave a detailed report to members of the PCB Board of Governors when they met on Wednesday. Wasim, the first British-born Muslim to play county cricket, told the BoG members that he has lined up a couple of projects with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Warwickshire County Cricket Club.
“PCB Managing Director Mr Wasim Khan reported as part of investing in developing and up-skilling officials, a discussion has taken place with an official of the England and Wales Cricket Board to send Pakistan’s first-class umpires to England to officiate in second eleven cricket in 2020,” the PCB said in a media release following the BoG meeting in Lahore. “In addition, Mr Wasim Khan also updated the BoG that an in principle partnership had been reached with Warwickshire County Cricket Club to send young players and coaches as part of an exchange programme.” But there was no mention of whether Wasim was able to convince officials and players during his England trip about coming to Pakistan for an entire season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) next year. The PCB is planning to stage the PSL 4 fully on home soil following instructions from Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Pakistan, who have previously hosted most of the T20 league’s matches in UAE, are confident that they have the infrastructure to stage a complete edition of the PSL in their own backyard. But the biggest stumbling block in their plans to have a completely Pakistani PSL edition could be the non-availability of foreign stars. It is understood that one of Wasim’s responsibilities is to use his influence in English cricket circles to convince officials and players here that Pakistan is now a safe place to play cricket. However, during the BoG meeting, there was no mention of PSL or whether a campaign has been started to convince leading players to come here for a full edition of the league next year. Instead, the MD spoke about the grand plans of sending Pakistani umpires to England to officiate in second eleven cricket in 2020. Wasim later commented via a PCB media release that such steps would “contribute significantly to a stronger Pakistan cricket.” “It’s the commitment and resolve of this set-up that it will invest in developing its assets and resources.