Pakistan’s cricket chief has vowed to safeguard his country’s rights after proposed constitutional changes by the game’s world governing body, which meets in Hong Kong from Sunday.
The two-day International Cricket Council (ICC) Executive Board meeting, preceded by a chief executive meeting, will consider two significant changes to the ICC constitution.
If approved, these could hurt Pakistan’s interests because the first amendment would allow the ICC to suspend a member country in the event of government interference in the running of a national cricket board.
In Pakistan, the country’s president is the cricket board’s patron. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh could also be hit by any changes.
The second amendment proposes changes to the process for nomination of the ICC president and vice-president.
Currently, the ICC president is elected from full-member countries on a rotation basis – Pakistan and Bangladesh have their turn after 2014.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt told reporters before leaving for Hong Kong late on Friday: “It’s Pakistan’s turn to nominate the president or the vice-president so we will not allow anyone to snatch that right.
“We have already shown our reservations on both the amendments and since the matter will be discussed at the meeting I am not going to make it more public.”
Butt has been criticised by former players, politicians and media for being a political appointee of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party.
The PCB has already sent a legal notice to the ICC on the proposed first amendment and have threatened legal action if the constitution is changed.
They have also publicly shown reservations on the second amendment and have also hinted legal action on the change in rotation system of appointments.
Butt said he will also discuss resumption of India-Pakistan cricketing ties, stalled in the wake of a 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai which New Delhi blamed on militants based in Pakistan.
“We will talk about Pakistan’s tour to India and then India’s return tour, during the meeting and hope for a positive result,” said Butt.
Hopes of an India-Pakistan series were raised during a high-profile World Cup semi-final between the arch-rivals in Mohali in March this year, a match attended by Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on the invitation of his counterpart Manmohan Singh.
The PCB had hinted a series will be played later this year or early next year – at neutral venues.
Pakistan has been forced to play home series on neutral grounds in United Arab Emirates, England and New Zealand since a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009. Cricket365