Sethi optimistic about New Zealand touring Pakistan

PCB chairman gives update about positive discussions with Kiwi board

Sethi optimistic about New Zealand touring Pakistan Photo: AFP

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi is positive about New Zealand touring Pakistan after a positive response from the Blackcaps.

New Zealand and Australia will play a series against Pakistan at a neutral venue later this year but Sethi is hopeful that some of the matches can take place on home soil. 

“We are currently in talks with Australia and New Zealand, who have a series coming up with Pakistan in the UAE or Malaysia, as the case may be, in October, November and December of this year,” said Sethi in an interview with “New Zealand, in theory, have said yes, that they will consider our request, provided we think the security is OK. If that is the case, they may play one or two games in Pakistan.”

Sethi stressed on the importance of the gradual return of international cricket in Pakistan while also praising the way Pakistan cricket, in general, has progressed of late.

“We have the step-by-step return of international cricket to Pakistan as well as the success of the Pakistan Super League (PSL),” he said. “The Pakistan cricket team is clicking together based upon the policy of appointing well-qualified foreign coaches in charge and exacting a high-standard from our cricketers and instilling motivation as well as discipline in them.”

The pay dispute between Zimbabwe cricketers and their board has put Pakistan’s tour in jeopardy as local players have threatened to boycott the series, but Sethi said that things are on track as far as he knows.  

“I have asked my staff to check with Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) as there have been all sorts of media reports about some issues cropping up within ZC. They have rechecked, and they say everything is on track for this series,” he said.

While talking about the contract extension of head coach Mickey Arthur, Sethi said that it is too early to talk about that matter but he was also delighted to see Pakistan progress smoothly under the South African.  

“I think Mickey is having a good ride and the entire team is doing well in his tenure. He told me that ‘Mr Sethi, I am here, and I am taking this team all the way to the World Cup’. Then we will cross that bridge when we come to it and I think let’s leave it at that for now,” he said. “We are very delighted with Mickey’s performance and also the fact that the boys respond well to him.”

Sethi also reiterated that the Asia Cup will take place in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and as things stand there is no change in that decision.

“The Asia Cup will be played in the UAE, and they are delighted that this is happening. I understand that the BCCI has asked for some clarification from the Union Government on contacts with Pakistan but that is not connected with the Asia Cup,” he said.

Speaking about players who decided against visiting Pakistan for PSL matches, Sethi said the franchises must make sure that they only pick players who have agreed to play in Pakistan in case the team has to play matches in Pakistan.

“In theory, this is more of a question for the franchises. When the drafts happen, the list of players is in front of everyone. The franchises need to be able to talk to those players to ensure that if the team gets into the final, or they end up in a situation where they have to play in Pakistan, the player will oblige,” he said.

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