PCB chief deserves a pat on his back

Published: Sunday, October 3, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shahryar Muhammad Khan put forward all his diplomatic and administrative skills to ensure better sense prevailed between the two warring TV channels-- Ten Sports and ARY over broadcasting rights of the ongoing tri-nation one-day international series involving Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka and two-Test match series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Both these Dubai-based television channels jointly won Pakistan cricket rights for $43 million till 2008 but differences cropped up ahead of the triangular series and both sides took the matter to the court.

Had it not for Shahryar's timely intervention, a blackout of the ongoing tri-series looked a distinct possibility. The PCB chairman had to strain his last nerve to make sure an amicable agreement was arrived at between the feuding parties.

It's worth mentioning that last year the then PCB chairman Tauqir Zia awarded the television coverage rights of the Pakistan-New Zealand One-day series to Dubai-based private channel GEO, ignoring the state-owned PTV.

The move sparked off a major row between the two channels, which deprived millions of fans of live coverage of the Pakistan-New Zealand one-day match for first time in history of Pakistan.

President General Pervez Musharraf, who is also patron of the board, butted in and the logjam was brought to an end. But the then PCB chief Tauqir Zia had to step down and many believe that the television fiasco was a factor behind his resignation.

The PCB did not want the repetition of last year and so while maintaining neutrality with each side, the PCB was instrumental in obtaining a compromise formula between the two parties.

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