Mumbai: Zaka Ashraf, the Pakistan Cricket Board chief, has firmly denied reports suggesting that his administration has requested its Indian counterpart for revenue shares in the recently announced limited-overs series, terming the alleged comments as "fabricated" and an attempt to sabotage the December-January series.
On Tuesday, the BCCI had announced that it will revive bilateral ties with Pakistan in the form of a short three-ODI and two-Twenty20 series at home during the window created by the England cricket team’s return home for Christmas after the Tests against India. On Wednesday, PTI reported that the PCB was determined to get a share of the revenues generated from the matches.
The report claimed an unnamed PCB official as saying: "The situation is that if the BCCI does not agree to a revenue-sharing formula, we end up losers and gain nothing financially from this series. As things stand, they say they will send their team to Pakistan when the security situation improves and that means no set deadline. They have also said they don't want to play us [at] any neutral venues. It is a positive thing they have invited us, but unless there is some revenue-sharing formula agreed upon, we gain nothing from the series.”
The report also claimed the official as saying that while Ashraf was keen to see the revival of bilateral ties with India, Pakistan needed to gain something out of the series for itself. "We need to gain something financially from the series or get a firm and written commitment from India to play us in a 'home series' at a neutral venue of our choice," the unnamed source was quoted as saying. "Until that time, we are committed to touring India but we also have to look at what we gain in the long run because we are not hosting international teams since 2009 and we are facing financial issues.”
However, speaking to CNN-IBN, Ashraf labeled the report as "fabricated" and denied his board had any such intentions. “This is a fabricated story and we do not reflect any of this thinking. Our main focus has been the revival of cricketing relations between the two countries. We never have thought on revenue lines at all. Whoever has put this out has done so with an intent to sabotage this process,” he told the channel.
Relations between India and Pakistan broke down after the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. Since then there have been no bilateral series between the two countries and the only three meetings have come in tri-series or ICC events.
India were due to tour Pakistan in January 2009 but that series was cancelled following the 26/11 attacks. As per the ICC's Future Tours Programme, Pakistan were scheduled to tour India for three Tests and five ODIs in March-April 2012, but that series was cancelled after the Indian government did not clear it. In its place the Asia Cup was held in Bangladesh.
The series in December-January be the first bilateral meeting in five years between the two countries.