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Wasim Khan

Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
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Wasim Khan Points At Inequality In Terms Of Treatment Towards Pakistan

Wasim Khan, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive, has pointed at “inequality” in terms of treatment towards Pakistan, in the backdrop of the New Zealand team pulling out of the tour due to security concerns.

Wasim Khan, who insisted that the security protocols that were in place for the Kiwi team were similar to the presidential security when the Royal Couple visited Pakistan in 2019, said the PCB will take the matter up with the apex board ICC and New Zealand Cricket in order to prevent countries from taking unilateral decisions regarding pull-outs which will have an adverse impact on the host country.

Wasim Khan said that PCB will take the matter up with the ICC and NZC in order to prevent other countries from unilaterally pulling out
Wasim Khan said that PCB will take the matter up with the ICC and NZC in order to prevent other countries from unilaterally pulling out © Getty

Wasim Khan: PCB Will Take The Matter Up With The ICC And New Zealand Cricket

New Zealand pulled out of their Pakistan tour even before play started in the 1st ODI in Rawalpindi. The Kiwis left Islamabad on a charter flight later. The Pakistan tour was the Black Cap’s first tour to the Asian country since 2003 and it was made possible after receiving clearance from their security agency.

“Ramiz Raja, the chairman, and myself will be taking this up at the ICC level but also with New Zealand. It is something that we’ll be pushing to have a discussion more broadly over this topic, when we sit at the ICC table,” Wasim Khan said at an online press conference on Sunday (September 19).

“Because as I said, the issue we have at the moment is that people can unilaterally make that decision without any consequences for themselves. There’s consequences for the others who are the recipients, in this case it was us. Is it fair that that can happen?” Wasim Khan said

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021
Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021. Image Credits: Twitter

“Yes we understand that there was guidance provided by the New Zealand government. But were we not owed the respect to at least to have some dialogue to share the information, security to security, to see if we can mitigate the potential threat,” Wasim Khan said

“We at the PCB didn’t need to know about the security threat, that could have been done at security level, and collaborations could happen at international level. We all want to see a peaceful, harmonious world. If at that level, we cannot share information outside a circle, then it’s going to be very hard for countries to be able to deal with and mitigate any potential threats that might be,” Wasim Khan said

“There is inequality. I don’t care what people say and I’ve been around cricket for a very very long time. We went to New Zealand, Bangladesh. We’ve done everything that’s been asked of us. We’ve shown solidarity in cricket. Our players have gone through hardships in 14 days of quarantine in New Zealand,” Wasim Khan said

“We went after the Bangladesh team got attacked in a Masjid. We’ve done everything we possibly could do. What we have to look at now is that we expect fair treatment the other way as well. It’s easy to walk out of countries like Pakistan without any reason, any dialogue or discussion. That has to stop. Because the inequality has to stop in world cricket, unless we do that we’re not going to have an even playing field, both in treatment and in finances,” Wasim Khan said

The PCB chief executive, who spoke about the security inputs that emanated from Five Eyes – the joint intelligence wing of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, and the US – said there was no change in the travel advisory despite the report that prompted New Zealand to pull out of the Pakistan tour.

New Zealand was scheduled to play three ODIs in Rawalpindi starting Friday (September 17) before the series shifted to Lahore for a five-match T20I series, but the entire tour now stands unilaterally postponed following the visitors’ expression of concern.

Wasim Khan Hopes ECB Will Decide To Send England Team To Pakistan For A Short Tour

Wasim Khan was also hopeful of the forthcoming England tour comprising of 2 T20Is going ahead as per schedule, stressing on ESI head of security Reg Dickinson’s assessment which gave a clean bill of health.

“Our understanding is that from a security perspective, as I mentioned, the travel advisory is an indicator of threat levels. Most of the western embassies and high commissions across the world use the travel advisories as an indicator of where the threat levels are. As it stands at the moment, the travel advisory has not changed from the British High Commission. Nor has it changed for the US, Australia and Canada who are also part of that five-eyes alliance.”

“England are meeting today to make a decision on whether they will tour Pakistan or not. We know what the guidance is, we know from a security perspective there’s a clean bill of health. We certainly hope England will tour. We certainly believe they should be coming and hope they will be coming, based on what the competent authority in Islamabad and the security expert are saying.”

England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

“The same security expert who provided the guidance for the ECB to go to Bangladesh, six weeks after the bomb blast that killed 12 people [in 2016] – so there’s a lot of trusts put into this security expert who is understood and respected around the world. We certainly hope when the board meets, the ECB will decide to send their team to Pakistan for this short tour,” Wasim Khan said

Wasim Khan, meanwhile, ruled out any possibility of Pakistan not playing their match against New Zealand in the T20 World Cup as a mark of protest.

“I don’t think the answer to that is not taking part or playing against New Zealand in the World Cup. We have a duty to the fans, we have a duty still to get out there and play. Our duty is to go out and win that match. This is an ICC World Cup and our job is to go out and do that and we’ll continue to have dialogue and discussion offline, myself and the chairman will do that with the competent authorities,” Wasim Khan said

The indications are that the two-match T20I series for the men’s England team and the five-match program for the women’s team will be postponed. Although it is still a possibility that the two series will go ahead, the England tour is in jeopardy after New Zealand’s pullout.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). (Photo: Twitter)
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). (Photo: Twitter)
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David White Grateful To PCB For Organizing Safe Departure Of New Zealand Team

David White, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive on Sunday said that he is grateful to the Pakistan Cricket Board for helping organize the safe departure of the New Zealand team. Later on Sunday, NZC chief executive David White said they were faced with no option but to abandon the tour after receiving advice from their government of a specific and credible threat.

New Zealand cricket chief David White clarified that they had no choice but to call off the tour of Pakistan after being alerted by their security officials just minutes before the first ODI in Rawalpindi on Friday. The entire limited-overs series was called off due to security concerns. Arrangements will now have to be made for the safe return of the New Zealand cricket team, which visited Pakistan for the first time in 18 years for an international series.

New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White during a press conference. Photo: File
New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White during a press conference. Photo: File

David White Credits Wasim Khan For Professionalism

New Zealand made headlines across the cricket fraternity when the cricket team called off its bilateral ODI and T20 series minutes before the toss for the first ODI between the two sides was scheduled to take place in Rawalpindi. The Black Caps had arrived in Pakistan after 18 years to play a cricket series. Pakistan was scheduled to host New Zealand for a series of 3 ODIs and 5 T20 internationals in Rawalpindi and Lahore from September 17 to October 3.

“We appreciate this has been a terribly difficult time for the PCB and wish to pass on our sincere thanks to chief executive Wasim Khan and his team for their professionalism and care,” said White in an official statement.

Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)

David White also said NZC and the BlackCaps had been very much looking forward to the Pakistan series but were faced with no option but to abandon the tour after receiving, on Friday, advice from the New Zealand government of a specific, credible threat. This advice was supported by NZC’s security consultants – who were on the ground in Pakistan, and by other independent sources.

“What I can say is that we were advised this was a specific and credible threat against the team. We had several conversations with New Zealand government officials before making the decision and it was after informing the PCB of our position that we understand a telephone discussion was conducted between the respective Prime Ministers,” said White.

“Unfortunately, given the advice we’d received, there was no way we could stay in the country,” he added.

New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White admitted the fact that the board was initially satisfied with security arrangements in Pakistan for which they sent their team to the country.  PCB CEO Wasim Khan has confirmed that the New Zealand Cricket team will fly out of Pakistan in a chartered flight.

The visitors refused to leave the hotel room minutes before the start of the first ODI in Rawalpindi and NZC called off the tour after following a security alert from their security advisors. The New Zealand men’s cricket team on Sunday arrived in Dubai after leaving Islamabad on a charter flight.

David White: New Zealand Too The Only Responsible Course Of Action Possible

David White said NZC remained comfortable with its initial decision to tour Pakistan, based on comprehensive assessments of the security situation, and the risk mitigation measures promised. New Zealand was scheduled to play three ODIs in Rawalpindi starting Friday (September 17) before the series shifted to Lahore for a five-match T20I series, but the entire tour now stands unilaterally postponed following the visitors’ expression of concern.

“Everything changed on Friday. The advice changed, the threat level changed and, as a consequence, we took the only responsible course of action possible,” he said.

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021
Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021. Image Credits: Twitter

The New Zealand men’s cricket team on Sunday arrived in Dubai after leaving Islamabad on a charter flight. The contingent of 34 players and support staff are now settling into their Dubai hotel and undergoing their 24-hour period of self-isolation. Of this group, 24 will return to New Zealand over the next week or so, as flights and MIQ rooms in New Zealand become available.

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
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Impossible Right Now: Ramiz Raja Opens Up On Resumption Of Pakistan And India Bilateral Series

Ramiz Raja, the newly-elected Pakistan Cricket Board chairman on Monday said the resumption of bilateral assignments with India is “impossible right now” and he is “not in a hurry” for it either as his focus is solely on his country’s domestic circuit at this point.

The 59-year-old, who formally took over on Monday after being elected unanimously, also acknowledged that being chairman of the PCB is one of the toughest jobs in cricket.

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

Ramiz Raja Opens Up On Resumption Of Pakistan And India Bilateral Series: Impossible Right Now

Ramiz Raja, a member of the 1992 World Cup-winning Pakistan team under Pakistan’s current Prime Minister Imran Khan’s leadership, has played 57 Tests and 198 ODIs from which he scored a total of 8674 international runs with 53 fifties and 11 hundred.

“It is a very big challenge and a lot of boxes had to be ticked before the prime minister (Imran Khan) decided to give me this tough job,” he said in a press conference here.

Asked about the possibility of revival of bilateral series between Pakistan and India, Raja said, “Impossible right now…”

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“…because the sporting model has been spoiled by politics and right now it is a status quo and we are not in a hurry on this issue because we have to focus on our domestic and local cricket,” he added.

The last time India and Pakistan faced each other was in the round-robin stage of the 2019 ODI World Cup, where the former won by 89 runs (DLS method). Their last T20 World Cup face-off resulted in India’s 6-wicket win over Men in Green in Kolkata in the 2016 edition.
However, due to the unfortunate political situation, the two teams haven’t played a bilateral series since 2012-13. Pakistan and India’s last bilateral ties at either of the two neighbouring countries were 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs in India way back in 2012.

Ramiz Raja Wants Pakistan To Play Fearless Cricket

He also expressed his displeasure over the development that there would be no Decision Review System in the upcoming Pakistan and New Zealand white-ball series in Rawalpindi and Lahore.

“Yes there is no doubt that this DRS issue reflects a mess and I will look into this matter,” he said.

Ramiz Raja expressed his reservations over the standard of coaching in the country and said there was a dire need to improve the local infrastructure in the country.

When asked whether he would allow the board CEO, Wasim Khan, to carry on, Ramiz Raja made it clear that he would not discuss internal matters of the body in public. However, he claimed that if it came down to proper accountability 90 per cent of the functionaries deserved to be sacked from the board.

Ramiz Raja was also asked about the India-Pakistan match in the coming T20 World Cup in Dubai. The game is due on October 24.

“It is a show stopper and when I met with the Pakistan team players I told them I want the tables to be turned this time and the team must be 100 per cent operational for the match and to do well in it,” he said.
India has not lost to Pakistan in any World Cup, be it in the ODI or T20I format. India has an 11-0 record versus their arch-rivals in limited-overs ICC tournaments.
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

The new PCB Chairman also said that he wants the national team to play fearless cricket.

“We must be prepared to face problems and also lose matches but I have told the players they shouldn’t worry about being secure about their places in the team and play fearless cricket. I know we will face more failures than success when we go on this path but we have to do it if we are to become relevant in world cricket. Because this is a process and we need to change the mindset of our players as well.”

Ramiz Raja is Pakistan’s 18th Test and 12th ODI captain and played 255 international matches in which he scored 8,674 runs in the period from 1984 to 1997. He has previously served the PCB as its Chief Executive from 2003-2004 and has represented Pakistan on the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee and presently sits on the MCC World Cricket Committee. After retirement, he has been a successful broadcaster.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)
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Wasim Khan Issues Statement Denying Any Rifts Between Babar Azam And PCB

Wasim Khan, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO issued an official statement in which he denied any rifts between team skipper Babar Azam and the Board over the selection of the squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2021. PCB announced a 15-man squad for the forthcoming ICC event a few days ago. Some reports alleged that Pakistan skipper Babar Azam is unhappy with the team selection.

The reports had also alleged that Babar Azam was not taken into confidence as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee picked the team for T20 World Cup. According to reports, Babar Azam wanted to pick openers Sharjeel Khan and Fakhar Zaman, all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and leg-spinner Usman Qadir in the squad but in-line PCB chairman Ramiz Raja did not agree.

Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)

Wasim Khan:  Babar Azam Is Fully Behind The Decision Of Picking Squad For T20I World Cup

However, PCB CEO Wasim Khan has ruled out any dispute between Babar Azam and the board over the selection of the squad for T20 World Cup 2021. Wasim Khan mentioned that Babar Azam is fully behind the decision of picking the squad for the T20I World Cup 2021.

“It has come to our notice that factually incorrect reports are circulating about the Pakistan national squad environment. The squad for the upcoming international assignments has been announced and our captain Babar Azam is fully behind the direction that is being taken”, the statement issued by Wasim Khan said.

Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“On Tuesday afternoon, some of the players had a healthy and positive meeting with former Pakistan captain and member of the PCB Board of Governors, Mr Ramiz Raja, in which there was a consensus on the brand of cricket that needs to be played in the upcoming series and beyond.

“It is important that collectively we get firmly behind the squad so that they have the stability, backing and focus they need prior to going into the ICC T20 World Cup next month,” the statement of Wasim Khan further read.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is slated to begin on October 17. Before the tournament, Pakistan will host New Zealand and England for limited-over series. Recently, Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis stepped down from their positions. Abdul Razzaq and Saqlain Mushtaq have been appointed as the interim coaches for the Pakistan team, who will guide the squad for the upcoming New Zealand series.

Pakistan Named A 15 Member Squad And 3 Standby Players For T20I World Cup Omitting Shoaib Malik, Faheem Ashraf, And Sarfaraz Ahmed

Pakistan named a 15-member squad and 3 stand-by players for their campaign in the UAE on Monday. Sarfaraz Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, and Faheem Ashraf were notable omissions from the Babar Azam-led side.

Pakistan on Monday named a 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup and the home T20I series against New Zealand and England. Senior members Sarfaraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz did not find a place while the likes of fresh faces Azam Khan, Asif Ali, and Khushdil Shah made it to the squad.

Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters
Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters

Aggressive opener Fakhar Zaman and leg-spinner Usman Qadir were not picked in the 15-man squad but the two players along with Shahnawaz Dahani were picked as reserves for the T20 World Cup, starting October 17 in the UAE. Babar Azam will lead the 15-man squad which will also not have senior all-rounder Shoaib Malik.

Pakistan squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Azam Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi.

Reserves: Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir.

Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower prepares to reverse sweep ©Reuters
Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower prepares to reverse sweep ©Reuters
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Andy Flower Decides Against Coaching Pakistan Due To His Busy Commitments For T20 Leagues

Andy Flower, former Zimbabwe cricketer and renowned coach has decided against coaching the Pakistan team due to his busy schedule. According to sources, the previous Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) regime led by Chairman Ehsan Mani were looking to replace the current Head Coach, Misbah-ul Haq, with Andy Flower, after Pakistan’s recent T20I series defeat against England.

Andy Flower, who is the head coach of PSL franchise Multan Sultans, CPL’s Saint Lucia Kings, T10’s Delhi Bulls, The Hundred’s Trent Rockets while also being the assistant coach of IPL side Punjab Kings, has told the PCB that he is not interested in coaching any international side, at the moment, as he is more inclined towards franchise cricket.

Andy Flower
Andy Flower (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Andy Flower’s Refusal Makes Task Of Appointing A Foreign Coach Harder

After Andy Flower’s refusal, the task of appointing a foreign coach for the Pakistan team has become difficult. Despite Ehsan Mani’s exit, Misbah-ul-Haq is not in the good books of the PCB as the likely new Chairman Ramiz Raja is also in favour of appointing a foreign coach. Although sources added that Misbah-ul-Haq’s removal is unlikely to take place before this year’s T20 World Cup, due to lack of time for the new coach to adjust before the mega event.

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

Misbah-ul-Haq was appointed as the head coach and chief selector in September 2019, with strong backing from Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wasim Khan. The PCB’s top brass considered Misbah-ul-Haq a ‘yes man’, however, that was not the case which strained relations between the two parties. Misbah-ul-Haq is likely to keep his job till the conclusion of the 2021 T20 World Cup.

Andy Flower was the mainstay of the Zimbabwe side for more than a decade and represented the Zimbabwe cricket team in 63 Tests, and 213 ODI matches. While he amassed 4794 runs in the longest format at an excellent average of 51.55, he also plundered 6786 runs in the ODI format of the game at an average in excess of 35. He has scored 16 centuries in both Tests and ODIs put together.

Misbah-ul-Haq’s Tenure Has Been Far From Ideal

Misbah-ul-Haq had voiced his opinion on various matters which did not go down well with the PCB officials. He was also part of the contingent, including cricketers Azhar Ali and Mohammad Hafeez, which met Prime Minister Imran Khan and expressed their reservations over the new domestic system. That meeting was the start of Misbah-ul-Haq’s downfall as, soon after, he stepped down as the chief selector in October last year.

Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP
Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP

Pakistan’s performance during Misbah-ul-Haq’s tenure has been far from ideal, winning 16 and losing 13 matches out of 34, as the team slipped from first to the fourth position in the ICC T20 Rankings. He was also instrumental in removing wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed as captain, which disturbed the team’s combination. Apart from a second-string South Africa team, Pakistan was not able to register wins against top sides.

As far as Test cricket is concerned, Pakistan has won seven, lost six, and drew three out of 16 matches. Their current ranking is number five in the longest format of the game. Meanwhile, in ODI cricket, Pakistan won six out of 11 matches while losing on four occasions whereas one match ended in a tie. They are currently ranked sixth in 50-over cricket and were recently whitewashed, three-nil, by a second-string England side.

At present, Flower is associated with multiple teams as a coach, he is the head coach of Multan Sultans (PSL), St Lucia Kings (CPL), Trent Rockets (The Hundred) and assistant coach of Punjab Kings (IPL).

Andy Flower’s denial to take the position of the head coach will be a difficult task for PCB to recruit a foreign coach that also when the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is not even two months away. If we believe some sources, then Misbah-ul-Haq’s removal is unlikely to take place at least before the T20 World Cup this year.

Misbah-ul-Haq was appointed as the head coach and chief selector in September 2019, with strong backing from Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wasim Khan. Later in October 2020, he stepped down from the selector’s role and purely is focused on coaching the team.

New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team-AFP
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New Zealand To Tour Pakistan After Almost 18 Years To Play 3 ODIs, 5 T20Is

New Zealand will make their first trip to Pakistan in 18 years this September to play three ODIs and five T20Is in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup that kickstarts on October 17. New Zealand will begin their Pakistan tour with ODIs on September 17, 19, and 21 at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, before heading south to Lahore for the five T20Is from September 25 at the Gaddafi stadium.

The New Zealand series is the start of a long 2021-22 home season for Pakistan, as that will be followed by the visit of England – both men and women – for white-ball games and West Indies men’s team – for three ODIs and three T20Is – in December. Australia is also scheduled to play a full series in Pakistan next February-March.

New Zealand series is the start of a long 2021-22 home season for Pakistan.
The New Zealand series is the start of a long 2021-22 home season for Pakistan. © Getty

New Zealand To Play 3 Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs And 5 T20Is Before T20I World Cup 2021

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that New Zealand will play three ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs and five T20Is on their first tour to Pakistan in 18 years. Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium will be the venue of the ODIs slated to take place on September 17, 19, and 21, while the iconic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore will stage the five T20Is from September 25 to October 3.

While the Rawalpindi ODIs will count towards the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 qualification, third position on the ICC T20I Team Rankings will be up for grabs in Lahore.

“Series against a top-ranked side like New Zealand will be a perfect start to a mouth-watering and highly-exciting home season of red and white-ball cricket.

“The 2019 World Cup finalists, who are also the World Test champions and ranked third in T20Is, will draw tremendous attraction and interest from the local fans, and will reinforce Pakistan’s status as a safe and secure country,” PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said on Thursday (August 5).

Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)

“I am pleased New Zealand Cricket has accepted our offer to play two additional Twenty20 Internationals. These will not only provide extra games to both the countries as part of their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup preparations but will also allow New Zealand players to spend extra days in Pakistan, familiarise with our culture and enjoy our hospitality,” he added.

Wasim Khan hopes the brimming home season, starting against the Kiwi series, will bring new fans and push youngsters towards the game in the country.

“With leading cricket playing countries resuming their tours to Pakistan in 2019, I remain confident and optimistic that the 2021-22 season starting with the series against New Zealand will prove to be a catalyst in rejuvenating our talented youngsters while attracting new fans to the game that has the most passionate following in the country.”

New Zealand’s tour of Pakistan is set for the September-October window after Babar Azam-led side returns from the West Indies tour.

New Zealand CEO Opens Up On New Zealand’s Close Relationship With PCB

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White talked up the board’s close relationship with the PCB and expressed his delight at the team returning to Pakistan for the first time since 2003.

“We’re very much looking forward to returning to Pakistan for the start of their home international season. New Zealand was the first country outside India to tour Pakistan and we share a close relationship with the PCB. It’s great that, after such a difficult time for Pakistan, international cricket is again being played in the country.”

Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP

New Zealand last toured Pakistan in November 2003 when they played five ODIs. A year before, their last Test appearance in Pakistan was at the Gaddafi Stadium in May 2002, which is remembered for Inzamam-ul-Haq’s 329 and Shoaib Akhtar’s six for 11 in the first innings that set the platform for an innings and 324-run victory.

The Kiwis won 14 Tests, lost 25 while 21 Tests were drawn in 60 Tests played between them. Top teams have avoided touring Pakistan citing security concerns after the 2009 attack on a bus carrying Sri Lanka cricketers to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

PSL 2022: Pakistan Cricket Board confirms, Pakistan Super League 7 (PSL 7) to be held in January-February window, venue not yet finalised.
PSL 2022: Pakistan Cricket Board confirms, Pakistan Super League 7 (PSL 7) to be held in January-February window, venue not yet finalised.
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Pakistan Super League 2022 Will Be Held In The January-February Window

Pakistan Super League will return in action in the January-February window after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the franchises came to an agreement on Saturday. However, the venue for the PSL 2022 has not been finalized. PCB had to suspend the PSL 2021 midway in Karachi and play the rest of the matches in the UAE.

After the successful completion of HBL PSL 6, the Pakistan Cricket Board and HBL Pakistan Super League franchises agreed on Friday that the seventh edition of the HBL PSL will be held in January and February next year.

Pakistan Super League 2021
Pakistan Super League 2021

Pakistan Super League 2022 Was Preponed Due To Australia’s Upcoming Tour Of Pakistan In February-March 2022

The decision to prepone the event has been taken due to Australia’s tour of Pakistan in February and March 2022. Since its inception, the PCB has organized the Pakistan Super League in the February-March slot. However, according to the Future Tours Programme (FTP), Australia is set to tour Pakistan for two Tests, three ODIs, and three T20Is during the same period.

“We will have to sit down with the franchises and discuss this [PSL 7]. Australian team is visiting after 22 years. If we miss this window, they won’t return for another three or four years as their Future Tours Programme is already decided,” said PCB CEO Wasim Khan in an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, back in June.

The franchises agreed that the PCB should prepare such a schedule of the PSL matches, which should also ensure a maximum number of matches during Australia’s first tour of Pakistan since 1998. — Dawn/File
The franchises agreed that the PCB should prepare such a schedule of the PSL matches, which should also ensure a maximum number of matches during Australia’s first tour of Pakistan since 1998. — Dawn/File

“In January the weather in Karachi is decent and in early February we can shift the tournament to Punjab but we still need to do planning in this regard,” he added.

The event will clash with the 2021-22 edition of the Big Bash League, scheduled from December 5 till January 28, which could mean that many top T20 players will miss the first few matches of the HBL PSL 7. Holding the event after the Australia tour would have resulted in a clash with the extravagant Indian Premier League, which takes place in April and May, and consequently affect player availability.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and all six franchises of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) have unanimously decided to hold the next edition of the league in January and February next year, with all fixtures planned on home soil, while also ensuring that maximum matches should be included in the home series against Australia who is due to tour the country in February and March.

A joint meeting of the PCB officials with the franchise owners was held via Zoom on Friday and cleared January and February as the ideal window to stage the PSL-7. According to sources in franchises, the PSL will start from Karachi and end in Punjab. The franchises agreed that the PCB should prepare such a schedule of the PSL matches, which should also ensure a maximum number of matches during Australia’s first tour of Pakistan since 1998.

Pakistan Super League’s Commercial Rights Also Discussed In The Teleconference

During a teleconference in which the PCB was represented by Chief Executive Wasim Khan, Chief Operating Officer Salman Naseer, GM Commercial Imran Ahmed Khan, and PSL Senior General Manager Operations Usman Wahla – the two parties also discussed a way forward in regards to the new commercial rights cycle and established a framework for rights evaluation and their subsequent sale.

Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)

The franchises representatives who attended the meeting included Salman Iqbal and Tariq Wasi (both Karachi Kings), Sameen Rana (Lahore Qalandars), Haider Azhar (Multan Sultans), Nadeem Omar (Quetta Gladiators), Nausherwan Effendi (Peshawar Zalmi), and Ali Naqvi (Islamabad United).

Although the venue isn’t finalized, PCB will hope to keep the PSL 2022 in Pakistan after making a loss in the PSL 2021 due to a late change in venue. Earlier, PCB chairman Ehsan Mani declared that the PSL 7 will be held in Pakistan with a crowd presence.

The role of the batting coach was Younis Khan's first full-time appointment with the PCB since his retirement in 2017 Getty Images
The role of the batting coach was Younis Khan's first full-time appointment with the PCB since his retirement in 2017 Getty Images
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Pakistan Batting Coach Younis Khan And Pakistan Cricket Board Mutually Agreed To Part Ways

Younis Khan, Pakistan Cricket Board, and Pakistan men’s national cricket team batting coach on Tuesday mutually agreed to part ways. Younis Khan was appointed last year in November on a two-year contract until the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.

Pakistan Head coach and chief selector, Misbah-ul-Haq had advised the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to appoint former skipper Younis Khan as a full-time batting coach of the Pakistan National Cricket Team.

Former Pakistan batting coach Younis Khan
Former Pakistan batting coach Younis Khan (Courtesy: PCB Media)

Younis Khan And Pakistan Cricket Board Mutually Agreed To Part Ways: Wasim Khan

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the men’s cricket batting coach on Tuesday mutually agreed to part ways. The former Pakistan batsman was appointed last year in November on a two-year contract until the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.

“It is sad to lose an expert of the stature and experience of Younis Khan. Following a series of discussions, we both have reluctantly but mutually and amicably agreed that it was time to move in different directions,” said PCB chief executive Wasim Khan.

Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)

“I want to thank Younis Khan for his contributions during his short stint as the Pakistan men’s national cricket team’s batting coach and hope he will remain available to assist the PCB by sharing his vast knowledge with the emerging cricketers,” added Wasim.

Both PCB and Younis Khan have agreed not to make any further comment on the reasons for the former captain’s departure. Pakistan men’s cricket team will travel to the United Kingdom without a batting coach, while the decision to appoint Younis Khan’s replacement for the West Indies tour will be made in due course.

Younis Khan Was Appointed Ahead Of Pakistan’s England Tour To Join Misbah ul Haq, Waqar Younis, And Mushtaq Ahmed

Younis Khan was appointed ahead of Pakistan’s tour of England last year to join head coach Misbah ul Haq, bowling coach Waqar Younis and spin-bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed in the team management. That was also his first appointment with the PCB since his retirement in 2017.

File image of Misbah-ul-Haq (R) and Waqar Younis (L) | WILLIAM WEST / AFP
File image of Misbah-ul-Haq (R) and Waqar Younis (L) | WILLIAM WEST / AFP

Pakistan had mixed results since he took over as batting coach. In five overseas Tests in England and New Zealand, Pakistan drew two and lost three before beating South Africa across formats – both home and away – followed by a successful tour to Zimbabwe.

Pakistan men’s national cricket team will tour England from 25 June to 20 July for three ODIs and three T20Is, while the West Indies tour will be from 21 July to 24 August where the visiting team will feature in five T20Is and two Tests.

Younis Khan is the only Pakistan player to score 10,000+ Test runs and  Pakistan’s highest run-scorer in Test cricket with the most centuries. He is also the only player to score Test hundreds in all 11 countries. He announced his ODI retirement in November 2015 after having announced his T20I retirement in 2009.

Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
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Pakistan Super League 2021 To Be Held In Abu Dhabi Confirms Wasim Khan

Pakistan Super League 2021 which is in its 6th season had seen a surge of COVID-19 cases as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided to halt and postpone the ongoing tournament in March 2021.Only 14 games were completed in the 34-match tournament. The remaining 20 Pakistan Super League 2021 matches are scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from June 1-20.

Pakistan Super League 2021
Pakistan Super League 2021 Photo Credit: PCB.

Pakistan Super League 2021 Will Be Held In UAE’s Abu Dhabi As The Remaining Hurdles Have Been Sorted Out

The remainder of the truncated 6th edition of the Pakistan Super League 2021 is set to go ahead in Abu Dhabi after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed that they have received all outstanding approvals and exemptions from the United Arab Emirates government. The PCB will now hold an online meeting with the franchises later today to apprise them of the situation and finalize all the details, which will be shared in due course.

“We are delighted with this development as the remaining hurdles in the staging of the remaining HBL PSL 6 matches in Abu Dhabi have been overcome and all systems are now good to go,” Wasim Khan, PCB’s Chief Executive, said.

Pakistan Super League (Image Source: Google)
Pakistan Super League (Image Source: Google)

“We are grateful to the UAE government, National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, Emirates Cricket Board, and Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their support and patronage in ensuring all final obstacles were removed, which has firmly put us in a position to complete our marquee event. The PCB, in consultation with the team owners, will now work at pace to finalize all event-related arrangements, details of which will be shared in due course,” he added.

The tournament, which originally started on February 20th in a special set-up bio-bubble in Karachi, had to be halted after only 14 games were completed as cases of Covid-19 arose due to a breach of the bio-bubble.

PSL 6 Was Postponed After Completion Of 14 Games As Tom Banton And Fawad Ahmed Contracted The Dreaded Virus

The 15th game of the Pakistan Super League 2021 between Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United, had to be postponed after Australia’s Fawad Ahmed tested positive for COVID-19. Subsequently, three more cases including England’s Tom Banton were reported across teams, forcing the immediate suspension of the league.

The PCB then finalized the schedule for the rest of the Pakistan Super League 2021, to be played in a stricter bio-bubble in Karachi, starting from June 1st. But the worsening Covid-19 situation in Karachi forced the franchises to write to PCB seeking that the tournament is moved out, preferably to the UAE – which has in the past successfully hosted the tournament.

England batsman Tom Banton tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan.
England batsman Tom Banton tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan. (Source: Twitter/ Getty Images)

However, their plans met with an unexpected objection from the UAE government which insisted everyone coming into the city/state should have taken vaccination. The PCB contended that it had no control over foreign technicians and television crew members travelling from different countries including India.

Following this, the PCB held a meeting with the Emirates Cricket Board and is understood to have given 24 hours to the board to resolve the matters. Simultaneously, the Pakistan board officials also apprised the six PSL franchises of the developments. All parties involved later agreed to wait for 24 hours.

Apart from the positive cases but there were breaches also reported of the bio-bubble prepared by the PCB. Peshawar Zalmi’s Wahab Riaz and Darren Sammy had met their franchise owner, who was not part of the bubble. Pakistan-born Australian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed had tested positive for the coronavirus before the game between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators on March 1. The game was thereafter postponed to March 2 after initially being deferred until 9 PM.

Ehsan Mani
Ehsan Mani
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Ehsan Mani Confirms Asia Cup Likely To Be Postponed If India Reaches WTC Final

Ehsan Mani, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman on Sunday confirmed that the Asia Cup which was slated to be held in June 2021 is likely to be postponed if India manages to qualify for the finals of the World Test Championship.

The Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani on Sunday said that the Asia Cup 2021, which is scheduled to be held in the month of June according to the FTP, is likely to be postponed till 2023 if the Indian team qualifies for the ICC World Test Championship final, which is also slated to be held during that period in England.

Ehsan Mani
Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani Image Source: TWITTER PHOTO

Ehsan Mani: Asia Cup Was Set To Be Held In 2020 But Was Postponed To 2021

The PCB chairman revealed the details of the Asia Cup 2021, to be held finally in Sri Lanka after being postponed, while addressing a press conference on Sunday in Karachi.

“Asia Cup was set to go last year but it got postponed to this year. Right now, it looks like Asia Cup won’t be going ahead this year as the WTC finals are set to go ahead in June. Sri Lanka had said that they would try to host the tournament in June,” Ehsan Mani told reporters in Karachi during a press conference.

Wasim Khan
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)

“The dates are clashing. We think the tournament would not be going ahead, and we might have to push the tournament to 2023,” he added.

PCB CEO Wasim Khan also said that it looks like India will reach the finals of the WTC, in all probability so the Asia Cup needs to be postponed.

“It looks like India has reached the finals and they will clash against New Zealand. This is why the Asia Cup set to be played in Sri Lanka won’t go ahead. We are waiting for confirmation but if it does not go ahead, we are planning for the future,” said Khan during a virtual press conference.

India were the defending champions of Asia Cup 2016, and retained their title in 2018, after beating Bangladesh by three wickets in the final. Asia Cup 2016 was a T20 tournament. India won all of its matches played in Asia Cup 2016 beating Bangladesh 2 times, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and UAE.

Ehsan Mani: PCB Want Written Confirmation To Get Visas For T20I World Cup

Ehsan Mani also said that the PCB has sent a letter addressed to the International Cricket Council (ICC) in order to get details about the issuance of visas from India for the T20 World Cup, slated to be held later in the year.

“India is set to host T20 World Cup in October-November this year. I have told the board that we want written confirmation from India that our fans, journalists, and players will get visas. I have a meeting with ICC and I will raise this point once again,” said Mani.

Pakistan Cricket Board
Pakistan Cricket Board Image Source: FILE IMAGE

PCB has asked India for visa assurances for their players, support staff, fans, and media. Ehsan Mani also said that if India fails to provide assurance then the T20 World Cup needs to be shifted elsewhere.

“The ICC has said that the assurance will come by March. If we do not get the assurance, then the tournament needs to be moved. We have a visa problem, Covid-19 situation also needs to be looked at. The ICC has made a contingency plan that if T20 World Cup cannot be played in India, then it will go ahead in the UAE,” Ehsan Mani further stated.

“The ICC management has said that the decision needs to be finalized by March 31,” he added. 

Ehsan Mani revealed that if India is unable to issue visas for the World Cup, the ICC has already decided beforehand that the T20I World Cup in India would be shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) while adding that the governing body wants to come to a decision by March 31.

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