Photo Credit: Pakistan Cricket Board
Faisal Hasnain, CEO of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley, International Cricket Council CEO Geoff Allardice, and Australia Cricketers’ Association CEO Todd Greenberg, held a joint-press conference at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Friday ahead of the first Test between Pakistan and Australia for the Benaud-Qadir Trophy.
While the four senior cricket administrators shared their views on the importance and significance of the series and reflected on the work done in the background to make happen the first series between the two sides in Pakistan in 24 years, they also paid tributes to legendary Australia wicketkeeper Rodney Marsh, who sadly passed this morning at the age of 74.
PCB Chief Executive Faisal Hasnain: “Today, this is an exciting moment for Pakistan cricket and I am absolutely delighted and feel privileged to be here in the company of Geoff Allardice, Nick Hockley and Todd Greenberg. Their presence here demonstrates their commitment and their support for this tour.
“There are many people on both sides who have worked tirelessly over many months to make this tour a reality. This tour sends out a strong and a positive message to the entire world.
“I am confident that when the Australian team returns home, they will take fond memories with them and will all become ambassadors of Pakistan.
“Now that the Pakistan-Australia series will be played for the Benaud-Qadir Trophy, there will be further context and something exciting and significant to play for. I thank Cricket Australia for agreeing to this proposal.
“This tour is not just about cricket. It’s about mutual respect, understanding and admiration. It’s about all sides working together as a team, towards a common objective and with a sincere intent, and that’s why we’re all sitting here and demonstrating to the world that the international cricketing community remains firm in its unity.
“Whatever the result on the field, whatever the outcome, the ultimate winner will be this glorious game of cricket.”
ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice: “I think a strong Pakistan is very important for international cricket.
“I know this series is an important one for the PCB and cricket fans in Pakistan. I think over the last five years, this Australia side will be the sixth Test playing nation to visit Pakistan during that period. It’s a significant moment for both the sides.”
Cricket Australia Chief Executive Nick Hockley: “Today is such a such historic day, we’ve been looking forward to it and I could not be more thrilled to be here in Pakistan. The welcome that we’ve received has been just really overwhelming and the excitement among our playing group has just been palpable.”
“On behalf of Cricket Australia, I just want to say an enormous thank you to the PCB, to everyone in Pakistan and the ACA. I think it’s been a wonderful team effort and we just can’t wait for that first ball to be bowled.
Australia Cricketers’ Association Chief Executive Todd Greenberg: “Our players are unbelievably excited to be here in Pakistan and would like me, to convey on their behalf, their thanks to the PCB, the government and, particularly, the people of Pakistan for the warm welcome they’ve received.
“A lot of players were very anxious about this tour some months ago, but that anxiety has turned to real excitement and that’s a really positive sign for global cricket. It’s really positive sign that the Australian cricket team are here, and we understand our contribution and our responsibility to the global game, which is why this tour is so significantly important.
“To the people of Pakistan, when the roads are closed and the cavalcade come through, we understand that creates some other difficulties for people in Pakistan. We want to say thank you and we appreciate that effort to allow us to be secure and to get to the ground and to get to training and all those sorts of things.”