Karachi, Sept 26 : Pakistan will play cricket in the Gulf as part of a nine-million dollar deal to fill its coffers and make up for the losses it suffered this year after two major tournaments were cancelled - first a series with Australia in March and then the ICC Champions Trophy in September. A host of foreign players had refused to play in Pakistan citing security reasons.
Announcing the decision, PCB Chief Operating Officer Shafqat Naghmi said, "The deal would help the PCB 'fill its coffers' and give appearance money to the players. It's a major boost and we have signed the deal worth nine million dollars for a period of three years with Dubai Sports City."
Details of the deal were to be announced in the next few days.
Meanwhile former ICC president Ahsan Mani has hailed India for playing in Asia Cup held in Pakistan earlier this year, despite the Aussies and the England cricketers refusing to play in Pakistan citing "security reasons".
"Indian and Sri Lankan players' lives were of no lesser value than the Australian and English players, yet they played the Asia cup in Pakistan in a very relaxed manner as admitted by the Indian players themselves," he said.
Mani further said: "Non-Asian players will get the same security that was given to the Asian teams so this is no justification. Pakistan will have to draw a tougher line otherwise there will be a drought of cricket in Pakistan."
Rejecting Naghmi's idea of allowing Pakistan to play at neutral venues, Mani said that this would negatively affect Pakistan cricket.
"I completely oppose this (offshore series) proposal as the main object is to have cricket in Pakistan. By the offshore series Pakistan can perhaps get the TV rights money but there will be no crowds and sponsorships," Mani said, and added: "If there was no cricket played in Pakistan, it will be loss to cricket, loss of Pakistan cricket in the longer run."
Story first published: Friday, September 26, 2008, 14:56 [IST]
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