Saturday, April 13, 2024

Chairman PCB Mohsin Naqvi addresses media in Karachi

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Photo Credit: Pakistan Cricket Board

Chairman PCB Mr Mohsin Naqvi held a press conference on Monday night, at National Bank Stadium in Karachi. During the press conference, the chairman addressed Pakistan Cricket Board’s commitment towards hosting ICC Champions Trophy next year.

“We are committed towards hosting the ICC Champions Trophy at home. I am really hopeful that it will take place in Pakistan. Champions Trophy was on the agenda of the ICC meeting I attended recently, and I reinstated our board’s commitment towards hosting the event.

“Our three main venues – Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi – will be upgraded before the Champions Trophy. We will upgrade other venues later as well, once these three are done. Our stadiums will be state-of-the-art once they have been renovated.”

“I met with Jay Shah, Secretary BCCI, and the conversation we had was very fruitful. I will not be going into details as it is a sensitive matter, but I want to reassure everyone that PCB is committed towards holding the Champions Trophy in Pakistan, and will leave no stone unturned to achieve that.”

When asked on a decision been made regarding the coaching staff, Chairman PCB replied, “We are currently working on it. We are trying to finalise the coaching staff at our earliest. I will not go into details, but there is a lot of backend work being done to search and finalise the staff, as the players are scheduled to leave for Kakul soon as well. We will try to hire the best we can find. I will not be taking any names, as all the discussions are in preliminary stages. We will announce the coaching staff as soon as it is locked.”

When asked on any plans for domestic cricket, Chairman PCB said: “Last year, PCB organised 2700 domestic games. In the next four months, we are planning to hold around 9,000 domestic matches. That is the target we have given to ourselves. I believe that we need to start working with students as it is better to unearth talent in early stages. We are collaborating with colleges in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad to host tournaments in Ramazan. Director Domestic Cricket has shared a plan with me, which will soon be finalised once the structure is done. Our target is to hold domestic games, unearth and develop talent.”

On planning regarding organising Women’s T20 league, Chairman PCB reaffirmed they have already started work on a Women’s League and will share the conclusive plans once everything has been finalised.

When questioned does he have any plans to work on pitches, Chairman said, “I am trying to get four or five different kinds of pitches made in National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore. One will be made out of Australian soil, one will be made out of English soil and the remaining two or three pitches will replicate other regions. I hope we are successful in this endeavor as such pitches are required by our players. Our stadium pitches are quite dead as well so they need to be worked upon. We do not have technical experts for this in the country so we might need to fly someone in.”

When questioned regarding change in captaincy for the national men’s team, Chairman PCB replied, “I will not be picking the captain. The selection committee will be appointing captain. I might be making some changes in that committee, but I believe that the selection committee should be empowered enough to be able to take these important decisions. The credit and blame will then lie with the committee, along with the coach and captain. Since they are responsible to bring results, they will be making decisions.”

On players’ NOC for foreign leagues, Chairman said, “We will be working on the NOC policy designed by the previous regime. We want to implement the policy introduced and strictly regulate the two-league rule. There will be no relaxation on this. The bottom line is, you need to prioritise the national team. All PCB employees will be required to work fulltime for this organisation, and will not be allowed to work in the private sector alongside.”

On the expectation from the Men’s team in T20 World Cup in June, Chairman said: “It does not matter whether we win or lose, but our hard work should be apparent to everyone watching. Our team definitely steps in the field to win, but it is alright to lose, as long as the team is losing with dignity. When I talked to the players, I explained that losing is acceptable as long as there are not any total collapses. In the coming days, the players and management alike will be working very hard, the result, however, is up to Allah.”

When asked to comment on spectators have been disallowed Palestinian flags in the stadium, Chairman replied back saying that Law and order falls under provincial government and that is not at our discretion. I cannot instruct provincial government over what they allow and disallow. I cannot intervene there.

On the low turnout in Karachi fixtures during HBL PSL 9, Chairman PCB said, “Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan all went completely sold-out in nearly each game. There was a high demand of tickets. Only one venue- namely Karachi – had below-par attendance, and that is very confusing to me. I will look into the matter myself and figure out why crowd in Karachi did not show up. We will probe this matter deeply and find out what has gone wrong. We already have plans to upgrade the stadium. I believe once that is completed, people will start showing up in Karachi as well.”

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