Fri, Jul 15, 2011 - Page 19 News List

Pakistan denounce proposals after task force report by ICC

AFP, KARACHI, PAKISTAN

Pakistani cricket bosses on Wednesday hit back at the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) proposals for overhauling the sport in the troubled country, saying it was a pointless “scholarly exercise.”

The Pakistan Task Team (PTT), set up by cricket’s governing body, presented a report at an ICC meeting last month with 63 recommendations — including changes to governance and moves to revive matches with India.

Ijaz Butt, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), said his organization had identified problems in the report.

“While the intent [of the PTT] cannot be questioned, a few discrepancies can be identified in the report, which PCB has rectified and sent to the ICC in the hope it’s taken in a positive spirit,” a PCB statement quoted Butt as saying.

The PTT was formed to revive international tours of Pakistan, suspended after a terror attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009, and to strengthen the game in the country, which has been battered by allegations of spot-fixing.

Its recommendations, however, are not binding on Pakistan.

The PCB said it considered the report to be a “scholarly exercise” that has not made substantial steps to restart international cricket in Pakistan.

Butt urged the ICC and PTT to work on the resumption of games with India, stalled in the wake of a 2008 terror attack on Mumbai, which New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

“Whereas the Indian government issued favorable statements regarding the resumption of cricket, the Indian Board is still waiting [for a] formal signal from its government,” Butt said.

The board also rejected a PTT recommendation that the country’s cricket chief should not be appointed by Pakistan’s president, who is also patron of the PCB.

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