Former PCB official pleads for PoK, AJK

Published: Thursday, June 17, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad:Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) should be given Grade-1 playing rights in the country's domestic cricket structure, former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) secretary Shahid Rafi has said.

Pointing out that PoK had the required facilities to host domestic and international matches, Rafi said PoK should be given a more prominent role in Pakistan cricket.

PoK is willing to construct an international standard stadium that could be utilised by the PCB for holding training camps as well as domestic and international matches, he said.

Meanwhile, a PCB official was quoted as saying in local daily The News that Rafi had been pleading the AJK's (Azad Jammu and Kashmir) case very strongly.

"He wants the Board to allow the AJK team to compete in the first-class regional tournament from this season," he said.

"What he has said is that a large number of people from Mirpur and PoK are settled in the United Kingdom but hold dual nationalities and many of them are active in County and league cricket in England. If the PCB allows the AJK to play as a region in the domestic competition, these players are keen to come down and play in Pakistan," the official added.

He further said the Board was seriously contemplating giving Shahid Rafi a chance to prove that Azad Kashmir could become a "viable area" for Pakistan cricket in the near future.

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