KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi on Sunday said the PCB is ready to accept any ruling of the International Cricket Council (ICC) disputes resolution committee but wants Indo-Pak bilateral series be added to the Future Tours Programme (FTP) for 2019-2023 if it wins the case.
Sethi, who returned home after attending several meetings of the ICC Executive Board and other committees in Kolkata, told the media that Pakistan had signed the FTP documents conditionally.
“We have made it clear that if the ICC’s disputes resolution committee rules in our favour in October, then India must play against us in the new FTP programme,” the PCB chairman stressed.
Sethi said he had signed the documents on the condition that if the ICC committee ruled in PCB’s favour, matches against India would be added to the FTP.
“Even if the result is otherwise we still have got confirmed around 123 matches in the new FTP so we have done well,” he added.
The ICC gave final shape to the FTP at the meeting in Kolkata but the current schedule does not include any Pakistan-India bilateral matches.
The PCB has also filed a compensation case with the ICC, saying that the BCCI has not honoured an MoU signed in 2014.
The ICC has said its disputes resolution committee will arrive at a verdict on the compensation claim of around $70 million by Pakistan after a four-day meet in Dubai in October.
Sethi has exuded confidence that Pakistan can win the compensation case as its legal team has prepared a strong case against the BCCI.
“Our stance remains that the MoU signed between the two Boards in 2014 during the ICC meetings confirmed that both boards would play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023,” the PCB chairman said.
The BCCI has said the MoU is not a legally binding document and was conditional to Pakistan supporting the ‘big three’ governance system which has been dissolved now and that they had said they needed government clearance to play against Pakistan.
Sethi made it clear that Pakistan had no objections to playing against India but first the ICC will have to decide the case.
Meanwhile, Sethi urged the United Arab Emirates (UAE) cricket authorities to not host any matches from October 2018 to March 2019 due to Pakistan’s commitments.
Sethi said the PCB has warned the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) to not hold matches between October-March since Pakistan is scheduled to play international and domestic series in the region during the timeframe.
He added that the Emirati authorities have approved the demands verbally, but if in case the demands are not fulfilled, Pakistan will shift the Pakistan Super League (PSL) to Malaysia.
“The Asia Cup is going to be held in September. Then, we have a series against Australia and New Zealand in the UAE, while after that, the PSL season begins, so the schedule is stacked. In such circumstances, we cannot afford that the UAE holds cricket matches of its own or the other leagues,” Sethi added.
Sethi further highlighted that the ICC is also wary of the increase in the number of T20 leagues and is already working to devise a plan to regulate the calendar.
Punjab fall short again
Ludhiana: Services overcame hosts Punjab 1-0 in the final to win the 69th National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.
Bikash Thapa’s 61st-minute strike proved the difference between the two sides as Services’ recent dominance in the tournament continued. Of Services’ six titles, five have come in the last eight years — in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2019. Since losing to Punjab in the 2008 title match in Srinagar, Services have not lost in the final.
On the other hand, this was Punjab’s third defeat in the final since winning their last title in 2008. The eight-time champions had lost 2-1 to West Bengal in 2010. In their last final appearance, in 2015, they had lost to Services 5-4 on penalties at the same venue. This is the eighth time Punjab have finished as runners-up. This was the fourth time Punjab were playing hosts. In 1970 and 1974, they had emerged champions in Jalandhar.
Being the final, the match expectedly saw a slow start, with both teams playing a little cautiously. Punjab, however, were the faster off the blocks. They dominated possession and had greater depth in their attacks. The hosts created a few opportunites but couldn’t convert, with Sunny and Vikrant Singh shooting just over the bar.
However, as the match wore on, Services gained composure and got more control over the proceedings. They started building their attacks from the flanks and almost got the breakthrough just before the end of the first half.
After the changeover, Services came out with more intent and energy. They continued pushing up the flanks and the strategy paid off. Lallawmkima PC found himself on the edge of the Punjab box. He squared the ball to Thapa, who slotted it into the bottom corner. A shirtless celebration followed, for which Thapa received a yellow card.
Punjab could have restored parity in the dying minutes but Services goalkeeper Vishnu VK made some valiant saves to ensure his side won the coveted trophy after three years.
Services skipper N Suresh Meitei was adjudged the Player of the Match. The winners received a prize of Rs 5 lakh, while Punjab pocketed Rs 3.5 lakh.
Pakistan cricketer seeks Tendulkar’s advice before WC
Lahore: Picked in Pakistan’s World Cup squad, opener Abid Ali sought advice from Sachin Tendulkar ahead of the showpiece and said he wants to hug the Indian batting great.
The 31-year old has been in prolific form in Pakistan’s domestic cricket and broke into the national one-day squad for the World Cup after scoring a century on his debut against Australia in Dubai last month.
The immensely talented Abid bats in a manner similar to one of cricket’s all-time greats.
“It’s my wish and hope that I meet Sachin Tendulkar. Definitely, I would like to hug him and I am sure that just like all great players meet youngsters I am sure that he will not turn me down.
“I am sure that if I want to get any information on cricket from Sachin, he will give a positive reply,” Abid told a group of journalists.
Abid said meeting his idol would be a memorable moment.
“It will be the best day in my life when I meet him (Tendulkar) because he was one of the best batsmen.
“West Indian Viv Richards was also a great so I want to meet all the great players and learn from them,” said Abid.
MU suffer fifth straight defeat with 0-4 loss to Everton
London: A woeful Manchester United suffered their fifth straight away defeat, in all competitions, with a 4-0 Premier League hammering at the hands of a vibrant Everton at Goodison Park.
Brazilian Richarlison fired Everton ahead in the 13th minute with an acrobatic high volley after Dominic Calvert-Lewin flicked on a long throw.
Gylfi Sigurdsson made it 2-0 with a low drive from over 25 yards out that United keeper David De Gea was slow to react to.
Lucas Digne then blasted in the third in the 56th minute after De Gea punched out a corner to the French full-back as United struggled to get even a foot in the game.
Icelandic playmaker Sigurdsson then put substitute Theo Walcott through with a clever pass through the legs of Victor Lindelof which the former Arsenal striker confidently converted.
United, eliminated from the Champions League by Barcelona on Tuesday, remain in sixth, outside the four qualification spots for next season`s campaign.
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