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“Western-bloc” cricket conspiracy targeted Pakistan Cricket, PCB chief

PCB chief claimed that "Western-bloc" cricket conspiracy targeted Pakistan Cricket leaving bad precedents, domino effect and hard lessons. Not only the two back to back pull-outs led Pakistan cricket financial losses but marred our reputation internationally that will take a long time to recover.

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“Western-bloc” cricket conspiracy targeted Pakistan Cricket, PCB chief Rameez Raja commented in the backdrop of back-to-back pullouts by New Zealand and England. Furious, the PCB chief said that such a setback to Pakistan cricket could have a “domino effect” for cricket in the South Asian country.

Once again, Pakistan is in the news for security in international cricket. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has suffered a blow when New Zealand team pull-out in the last minute over perceived security threats. The final nail in PCB coffin came when England cancelled its tour on Monday.

England on Monday cancelled their men’s and women’s teams tour of Pakistan next month by claiming that the reason for doing so is the “mental and physical well-being” of the players. It followed suit New Zealand’s abrupt abandonment of their tour minutes before the opening fixture in Rawalpindi on Friday due a security alert from their government. Prime Minister’s Imran Khan’s assurances ceased to convince the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden which ultimately led Pakistan cricket a great blow.

“Western-bloc” cricket conspiracy will have a domino effect

“I am very disappointed by England’s withdrawal but it was expected because this Western bloc gets united unfortunately and tries to back each other,” Raja, who took over as PCB chief earlier this month, said in a video shared by the PCB.

“You can take any decision on the basis of security threat and perception.

“But there’s a lesson for us. We go out of our way to accommodate and pamper these sides when they visit…from now on, we’ll tour only when it serves our interest.”

The former Pakistan captain said there was a sense of anger in his country as New Zealand refused to share the exact threat, which necessitated a step that has far-reaching consequences for the hosts.

“It can have a domino effect. It can hit the tour by West Indies, and Australia are already reconsidering their tour next year,” Raja said.

“England, Australia, New Zealand – they are part of one bloc. Who can we complain to? We thought they were our own but they haven’t accepted us as theirs.”

Read more: Last minute New Zealand team pull-out caused by Five Eyes

“Western-bloc” cricket conspiracy led Pakistan cricket final loss

According to media reports, the PCB is facing a loss that could be anything between $15-25 million after the twin pullouts but Raja said he was determined to claim compensation from New Zealand Cricket.

Pakistan could have hosted Zimbabwe and a second-string Bangladesh team to fill the void but the PCB would not resort to such “desperation”, he said.

Pakistan would have been treated better had PCB had more financial clout, the 59-year-old said.

“We have to improve and expand our cricket economy so that these countries remain interested in playing us,” he said.

“They come to the Pakistan Super League where they don’t get spooked or fatigued but collectively they have a different mindset together toward Pakistan.”

“Western-bloc” cricket conspiracy taught us hard lessons, PCB chief

The PCB chief Rameez Raja lashed that first New Zealand withdrew without sharing information about the nature and extent of the threat they faced. Now, such an unprofessional approach was followed by England, but it was expected. He claimed that these pull-outs will give rise to bad precedents.

So, this “Western-bloc” cricket conspiracy gave us hard lessons to learn. When we travel to these sides, we have to go through a tough warranty and we tolerate their advice, but there is a lesson in it. That is, from now on we will move forward as much as it is in our interest.

Read more: We provided security better than New Zealand’s army: Sheikh Rasheed

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