Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan once again expressed his disappointment over New Zealand and England’s decision to pull out of their respective tours of Pakistan. New Zealand were in Pakistan for a limited-overs series but decided to cancel the series ahead of the first ODI between the two sides in Rawalpindi. England, on the other hand, refused to send their teams for the tour.
While expressing his disappointment over England’s decision to snub their tour of Pakistan, the Pakistan Prime Minister said money has become a big player now and plays a major role in influencing the decisions of the cricket boards around the world.
Khan insisted that Indian controls world cricket now as the International Cricket Council (ICC) receives the majority of its funding from the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the Indian markets. The Pakistan PM said no country can dare to pull out of their commitments against India, unlike Pakistan.
“England let itself down. I think that there is still this feeling in England that they do a great favour to play with countries like Pakistan. One of the reasons is that, obviously, the money,” Khan was quoted as saying in an interview with the Middle East Eye.
“Money is a big player now. For the players, as well as for the cricket boards. The money lies in India, so basically, India controls world cricket now. I mean, they do, whatever they say goes. No one would dare do that to India because they know that the sums involved, India can sort of produce much more money,” he added.
New Zealand had pulled out of their tour of Pakitsan on the day of the first ODI against the hosts in Rawalpindi after receiving a ‘security threat alert’. Days after New Zealand’s decision, the England Cricket Board (ECB) also announced that the teams will not travel to Pakistan due to “increasing concerns about travelling to the region”.
Recently, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s chief Ramiz Raja had stated that cricket in the country can collapse if the Indian government wants. Raja had explained how PCB receives 50 per cent of its budget from ICC, which is dependent on the BCCI for funding.
“The ICC is a politicised body divided between the Asian and Western blocs and 90 per cent of its revenues are generated from India. It is frightening,” the PCB chief had said.
“In a way, India’s business houses are running Pakistan cricket and if tomorrow the Indian PM decides he will not allow any funding to Pakistan, this cricket board can collapse,” he added.