Pakistan Cricket Board Chair Najam Sethi Upbeat On Pakistan-India Series
Pakistan Cricket Board Chair Najam Sethi has called on the PM "to get tough on terrorism if top teams are to return to the country for the first time since the 2009 attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus," according to K. R. Nayar of GULF NEWS. Sethi granted Gulf News a "wide-ranging interview," in which he also revealed that he had held discussions with Board of Control for Cricket in India President N. Srinivasan, and claimed that "Qatar could become a rival to the UAE for hosting Pakistan matches."
Q: Your country has been deprived of international matches for nearly four years. Have you any plans of starting a campaign to bring international teams back to play in Pakistan?
Najam Sethi: The need of the hour is diplomacy. There is a bottom line here and that is we need to get a grip on terrorism. No amount of putting a brave face and telling the world that we have the best security arrangements is going to work.
Q: So how do you plan to go about this task?
Sethi: I have told the prime minister that I will do my best to make it happen, but he too will have to do his job [of combating terrorism]. He laughed and said that his job is very tough and I said that my job is dependent on the success of his job. If he can sort out terrorism or at least make an effort for the whole world to see that he is making the effort, then we will be able to convince nations to come and play in Pakistan.
Q: How happy are you with the domestic structure in Pakistan? Are you planning any changes?
Sethi: If I stay as chairman, my first job is to revamp the whole domestic structure in Pakistan. I have no doubt in my mind that we need to revitalize cricket and infuse new technology, methods, accountabilities and cut out duplications and make it into a lean domestic structure in line with the standards all over the world.
Q: Any plans for staging an India-Pakistan series soon?
Sethi: I met N. Srinivasan during an ICC [Int'l Cricket Council] meeting in London and in Thailand last month during the Asian Cricket Council meet and I discussed it with him. In principle he said he has no issues, however, he said that the Indian elections are on their way and a series like this one needs a nod from New Delhi (GULF NEWS, 12/19).