LAHORE: Wasim Khan, the PCB’s new managing director, believes there is very little chance of bilateral cricket ties resuming between India and Pakistan in the near future but also thinks it might be time for a new strategy to get the two teams together.
Wasim, who was previously chief executive at the Leicestershire County Cricket Club, spoke to reporters in Lahore for the first time since taking up his new role earlier this week, ESPNcricinfo reported.
“It’s a massive challenge,” he said. “And I don’t think we’re going to see any solutions anytime soon. I think elections are going on in India, so nothing is going to happen in the near future. But, we are trying and [PCB chairman] Ehsan [Mani] is trying hard to get them to the table and get things moving.”
“We keep on asking them to play us but let’s create a situation where they ask us to play. I think we need to do that. It’s sad that we are not playing against them but life continues. We need to move forward and carry on. We can’t wait forever to play India. Our focus is to develop Pakistan cricket and get our team and players a lot of success at the international level.”
Since 2009, the PCB has been pushing the BCCI for more matches between the two countries. It began during the Zaka Ashraf regime and reached its end during Najam Sethi’s when the ICC rejected the case he filed against the BCCI for dishonouring an agreement to play seven bilateral series between 2014 and 2023.
Mani stood by Wasim’s views on India-Pakistan cricket. “Until it’s not done (elections in India) there is no point in engaging them at this stage because we have to start over with new people in the BCCI,” Mani said. “But our relations with the Indian board are very good and we have mutual respect but we won’t be imploring them to play us. If we can take Pakistan cricket to a level where we are among the top three teams in the world, they will come on their own to play with us.
“I get a lot of messages from Indian journalists and public about their wish to play against Pakistan. Unfortunately, politics sneaks in which I don’t believe sports should ever be mixed up with. But it happens in our environment, especially in India it happens a lot.”
Wasim has also been handed the responsibility of revamping Pakistan’s domestic cricket, which has often been cited as a reason for the team’s inconsistent performances.
“We need to get the consistency and sustainability so we are looking at our internal affairs,” Wasim said. “Everything will be done but for now let’s get our domestic cricket right and make our grassroots stronger than ever and make our international team more sustainable in the near future so that they are successful at all levels.”