Shaharyar gives explanation to Senate Committee

Published: Friday, September 2, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shaharyar Khan told during a hearing of the Senate Standing Committee on sports and culture had Pakistan cancelled Englands tour later this year it wouldve faced its worst cricket crisis and also a hefty financial losses in millions.

In what was another hearing marked by constant verbal duels and exchange of strong words between the PCB officials and two of the Senators, Shaharyar said Pakistan wouldve suffered losses of around $10 million and would also have faced a situation of touring teams refusing to come to Pakistan.

The hearing was convened on the request of three Senators led by Enver Baig to question the Board officials on why England is not playing a Test in Karachi.

Shaharyar told the Senators if Pakistan had cancelled the tour because England was not agreeing to play a Test in Karachi, England couldve claimed compensation from it through the International Cricket Council (ICC).

"If a touring team has genuine concerns about the security of their players on playing in some particular country or city and are guided by government directives then its the host country which faces problems and sanctions if it calls off the tour," he explained.

He pointed out that every effort had been made to convince the England board to play a Test in Karachi but they said they were following an advisory from their government not to play in Peshawar or Karachi.

According to eyewitnesses, Senator Baig said since he represented Karachi and Sindh he wanted to know why the Board had not taken a stronger stand on this.

On this issue there was exchange of hot words between him and Shaharyar and another PCB official Abbas Zaidi.

At one stage when the Senator started asking Shaharyar questions on other cricket matters like the salaries being paid to the Board employees and used strong words he was reminded by his colleagues that he should stick to the agenda of the hearing and not pepper the officials with irrelevant questions.

At another time the chairman of the Committee told Baig he should put his questions to the Board officials through him.

"There were occasions in the hearing when it was obvious that there was more than cricket involved in the arguments that went on between Senator Baig and the Board officials."

The Senate body has been holding regular meeting with the PCB officials on cricket affairs since last year in June starting off with a hearing to find out why Pakistan had lost to India at home but since then many analysts feel the hearings have become a platform for settlement of personal scores.

However the Board officials didnt object when the chairman of the Committee said that a resolution should be passed on the decision of the ICC selectors not to include Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq in the World eleven squads for the Super Series.

Shaharyar informed the senators that the Board itself had taken up the matter with the ICC through the proper forum, as it was also not happy with Inzamams exclusion from the World eleven squads.

But he explained that since Pakistan was a member of the ICC, it could not directly criticise any decisions made by the sports world governing body.

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