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For Cricket’s Revival, PCB Turns to Sharif

by AFP
Arif Ali—AFP

Arif Ali—AFP

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman says he needs more power to clean up ‘rotten structure.’

The interim chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board has appealed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to help revive international cricket in the country.

“We have requested the prime minister to help us in this regard and we are going to meet him very soon,” Najam Sethi said late Sunday. “We have been endeavoring to host matches, we want our grounds to be full of fans, and we want our fans to cheer the teams.”

Pakistan has not hosted any international cricket since a deadly militant attack on the Sri Lankan team’s bus in March 2009 in Lahore. The attack prompted foreign teams to boycott tours to Pakistan—which twice tried to arrange limited-overs series against Bangladesh last year, but on both occasions the tour did not come off because of security fears.

With no team willing to tour the country, the Pakistan side has been forced to play their home series in the United Arab Emirates and England.

The opposition Pakistan Peoples Party last week submitted a parliamentary motion calling for the revival of cricket in the country, and urged the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) to act swiftly. Sethi welcomed the motion. “It will help,” said Sethi. “If I get full powers, I will definitely clean up the domestic cricket structure which is rotten.”

Sethi’s powers were curbed by Islamabad’s high court in October. An appeal against the court’s decision is due to be heard later this month.

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