Pakistan softens stance over ICC Task Team report


The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has softened its hard-line stance on recommendations proposed in an International Cricket Council (ICC) report on improving the organisation of the sport in the country. The ICC ordered a Task Team to compile a report on Pakistan cricket in the wake of the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore and last year’s spot-fixing scandal but the PCB rejected a majority of the unit’s observations last week. However, PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad told Reuters on Tuesday that the board had only dismissed the recommendations it felt were redundant or based on inaccurate information. “The constructive recommendations and proposals by the Task Team which are good for Pakistan cricket are under consideration,” Ahmad insisted. “We are looking at ways to implement them soon.”
The Task Team, headed by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke, put forward a number of reforms for Pakistan cricket and Ahmad dismissed suggestions that the PCB’s initial cold response had soured relations with the ICC. “We appreciate the ICC and Task Team’s intentions to help and support Pakistan cricket. Our relations remain very good and there is no confrontation on this matter,” he said. One of the recommendations would see a democratic system of governance in Pakistan put in place, with the powers of the chairman being reduced and transferred to a chief executive. The report also wants a reduction in the involvement of the country’s president, who is chief patron of board affairs and responsible for appointing its chairman. Ahmad said the PCB’s main issue was that the Task Team did not visit Pakistan while compiling the report apart from ICC official Dave Richardson, who spent a few days in Karachi last year. “We told the Task Team many times that they needed to visit Pakistan while compiling their report,” Ahmad said, adding that the board would still welcome any proposed trips by members of the panel to Pakistan. Ahmad confirmed that PCB chairman Ijaz Butt would be at Lord’s for the 2,000th test celebrations this week when England host India and would hold informal talks with the ICC and Task Team members over the report and a proposed visit to Pakistan.