Karachi, Nov 19: PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf is confident that the death of India's firebrand leader Bal Thackeray will not affect their national team's upcoming tour to India even though the late leader's party has strongly opposed the revival of bilateral cricket ties.
"I sent a get well message to Bal Thackeray despite his party's stance on Indo-Pak cricket relations because I wanted him to get well and support the tour as a senior politician," Ashraf said. The good thing is that my get well message produced some positive reaction in India and I am happy for that." Ashraf pointed out that he was not expecting the tour to be affected since Thackeray died a natural death.
"In the past whenever Pakistan has played in India their government has provided us top security and looked after the team well and that gives us confidence the tour will be held without any problems," he said. The Indian government has cleared the tour although Thackeray's party strongly opposed reviving bilateral ties with Pakistan after five years.
Asked about accusations made by British writer, Ed Hawkins in his new book that the 2011 World Cup semi final at Mohali between the two countries was fixed, the PCB chief said if the writer had any evidence to support his claims he should send it to them.
"Anyone can make any claims but without evidence it is useless talking about it. If Hawkins has any sort of evidence than we would be the first to hold an inquiry ourselves and than ask the ICC to also look into the accusations," he added. Meanwhile, to a question Zaka said no candidate was final as yet for the post of national teams batting coach.
"We need the best man for the position of batting coach keeping in mind the requirements of modern cricket," he said. Former Test cricketers Zaheer Abbas, Saleem Malik and Inzamam-ul-Haq are in the run for the said post. But they all have no coaching credentials.
Insiders say some foreigners with required credentials and qualifications from England, South Africa and Australia have also applied for the position.