The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has set June 2020 the deadline for the Indian Cricket Board to confirm its participation in Asia Cup scheduled in September, next year.
“We need to see if India agrees to come to Pakistan for the Asia Cup. There is still some time till next year’s September but by June, we have to know where we are going with this and if it can’t be hosted here because of a lack of involvement of India,” PCB CEO Wasim Khan said in an interview.
However the final decision to shift the tournament will be Asian Cricket Council’s prerogative. “But that is a decision for the Asian Cricket Council and ICC to make. We are ready to have India in the Asia Cup,” Khan said.
Khan acknowledged the practical problems in having any bilateral cricketing ties with India in the prevailing strenuous relationship between the two neighbours. “Board to board level, we share a good relation with India but they have a lot of government interference and we can’t keep on running after them to play a bilateral series. If they want to play they will have to tell us and give us a firm commitment. We have no issues playing at a neutral venue,” Khan said.
Removing Arthur as coach was a tough decision
Khan also said that the cricket committee, which was headed by him and included Wasim Akram and Misbah-ul-Haq, had held a robust meeting and asked a lot of tough questions to Mickey Arthur, captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and former chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq during the post-World Cup inquiry. “The first question we asked ourselves was were we happy to be number seven in Tests and number six in One-dayers. Are we happy that we have been inconsistent over a long period of time,” Khan said.
“In Mickey’s defence, he did a lot of good things for Pakistan cricket. But we had to make a tough decision, it’s is a new regime, new domestic structure and we needed to be sustainable, have a proper succession plan for our leaders and coaches in Pakistan cricket.”
He noted if recommendations are being put forward to the chairman, the cricket committee has to give reasons why they need changes. “We felt they were a number of areas where we still needed to be better at. We platued a bit whether we could get any better or that was not good enough for us we needed to make a fresh start,” he said.
Khan also insisted that the ICC Test Championship is important for Pakistan and that is why it has revamped its red ball domestic cricket. “Because red ball cricket matters to us it is the health check of any cricket playing country. ODI and T20 cricket is important I am not demeaning them but Test cricket matters to us.”
Arthur has recently spoken about the manner in which PCB’s cricket committee recommended his removal after the World Cup, saying he felt let down by people he trusted most.