The former Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board,Ijaz Butt has welcomed the planned revival of bilateral ties with India but insisted that Pakistan must ask the BCCI to compensate it financially for the cancelled series of 2009.
“It is a good thing that finally the Board of Control for Cricket in India has invited Pakistan to play a short series this year in India. But my concern is,the PCB needs to gain something more out of the series than the resumption of ties,” said Butt.
The PCB has already accepted the invitation from the BCCI to tour India in December to play three-match ODI series and two Twenty20 matches.
It would be the first bilateral series between the two countries after India suspended cricketing ties with Pakistan following the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 and cancelled a full Test tour to the neighbouring country in early 2009.
The suspension of ties and cancellation of tour took place during the tenure of Butt.
Butt,who was replaced by Zaka Ashraf last October,said during his tenure he had held meetings with the BCCI President,N Srinivasan in the presence of former ICC chief,Sharad Pawar and put forth a formula for revival of the ties.
“I had given the BCCI some options but the crux of these options was that India must compensate us financially for the cancelled tour of 2009. As per the ICC FTP regulations whenever Pakistan and India play against each other it will be Pakistan’s turn to play host,” he said.
Butt admitted that as a part of his options he had agreed to Pakistan going and playing in India to revive ties but had asked for the income from media rights to go to the PCB. “My condition was that the BCCI should allow the income from media rights to us because we lost lot of estimated income when India didn’t tour Pakistan in early 2009,” said Butt.
“The way we estimated things we had lost around 45 to 50 million dollars when that series was cancelled and my argument was simple that Pakistan and India needed to revive bilateral ties on reciprocal basis if required even at neutral venues like Sri Lanka,Malaysia and England. I had even agreed that to revive bilateral ties we would send our team to India but the emphasis was on getting share of the income from media rights,” he added.
The former Test player said that he had told Srinivasan clearly that BCCI also needed to commit to a return series with Pakistan.
“I had told them that they only made promises and we needed a firm commitment so that we could also make money. Because when Pakistan goes to India,the BCCI income is around 100 million dollars.
“The same things were repeated when I met BCCI officials and Indian government functionaries during the 2011 World Cup semifinal in Mohali,” he said.
A PCB spokesman,however,said that Pakistan would not be discussing sharing of revenue generation for the series as its only interest was to see bilateral cricket ties revived.
Butt,meanwhile,said he had also briefed Ashraf about all his meetings with Srinivasan and Pawar.
The former PCB chief said that he was not aware under what conditions Pakistan had agreed to now play in India and accepted the BCCI invitation.
“Obviously,Zaka Ashraf has his own vision and policies but my belief is that we need to have bilateral ties with India on equal basis. They need to tour Pakistan and play a couple of matches,” insisted Butt.