Pakistan, UAE eye joint ICC bids amid revenue loss concerns

By: News Desk      Published: 12:21 PM, 16 Apr, 2020
Pakistan, UAE eye joint ICC bids amid revenue loss concerns

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is preparing a joint bid for five to six International Cricket Council (IC) events in conjunction with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB).

The PCB is to bid for events in the ICC Future Tours Programme cycle from 2023 to 2031, and hopes to secure at least one or two, according to PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani.

The ICC recently invited expressions of interest from its member nations for 20 global events in the 2023-2031 cycle.

Mani said in a PCB podcast: “I have already begun speaking with the Emirates Cricket Board for a team-up to increase the chances of hosting some of it together but, again, it needs cooperation. There are a few events with 16 games and then there are events with 30-40 games, so depending on the scale, the workload can be divided between us.”

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Security concerns have prevented Pakistan from hosting international cricket for the past decade, in the wake of an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009. It lost the hosting rights for the 2011 Cricket World Cup. The PCB has instead played international matches in the United Arab Emirates. Recently, there have been moves to bring international matches back to Pakistan.

“It is very important for Pakistan cricket and its development that some of the ICC events are played in Pakistan,” Mani said.

The PCB chief also raised his concerns that any disruption to this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia would result in serious revenue loss for most cricket playing nations. The ICC, which distributes profit from its tournaments among member countries, is working on contingency plans but it expects the World Cup to go on as scheduled.

However, Mani, who chairs ICC’s Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee, said PCB was preparing for the worst. “The World T20 in Australia, if that gets disrupted then the financial fallout from that will be very big, The distributions they (the International Cricket Council) give to members, many boards, including us, will feel the pinch of it,” Mani said.

“Financial controls are tight, we are not spending over what we earn so in that sense, we will probably be all right in the short term, but if it goes into next year and ICC distributions don’t come in, obviously we have to plan,” he added.

Australia is due to host the event for the first time from October 18 to November 15. And while the country has so far managed to contain the spread of Covid-19 there is no guarantee the situation will be any better in six months’ time when the tournament is due to start. SportBusiness reported recently on creative ideas the organisers are promoting to make sure the event goes ahead.