PCB in 'terrible' financial position: Butt

The PCB is in a 'terrible' financial position after losing $40 million following the cancellation of India's tour, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt has said.

updated: January 14, 2009 09:47 IST
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The Pakistan Cricket Board is in a 'terrible' financial position after losing $40 million following the cancellation of India's tour, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt said on Tuesday.

Butt said PCB's reserves have fallen from 3.3 billion rupees ($42 million) to 1.5 billion ($19 million) over the past two years.

"It stood at $42 million in October 2006, but when I took over as the chairman in October last year it was just $19 million," Butt told the senate's committee on sports. "Our finances are in terrible shape and that's why we have shelved all the development plans."

The Indian government refused to send its team to Pakistan for three tests and five limited-overs matches in January and February after blaming the involvement of Pakistani citizens in the November attacks on Mumbai that killed at least 164 people.

Pakistan has invited Sri Lanka to fill the gap and play two Tests and three one-day internationals, which Butt said would raise only $500,000.

"We suffered a loss of at least $40 million while on the other hand India lost four times more than us," Butt said. "The Sri Lanka series would help us generate just a small amount, but we do hope that the Indian cricket team tours Pakistan in the near future."

Butt believes Pakistan would earn at least $25 to $30 million from playing India at a neutral venue as an alternative.

Adding to the economic pressure, the PCB last week found major financial irregularities in the renovation of Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Former PCB chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi has denied the claim.

Pakistan didn't play a single test last year after foreign countries expressed security reservations over sending teams. The only cricket the country hosted in 2008 was the six-team Asia Cup and separate limited-overs tours from Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Australia postponed its visit last March and is now due to play five one-day internationals against Pakistan in April. The PCB has provided three offshore options - Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi and England - in case Australia continues to have reservations.

"We want to host Australia in Pakistan," Butt said. "But if they have their security concerns, these are the three venues which will come up for discussions when I meet officials of Cricket Australia in Perth later this month."

Butt will be attending the ICC's executive board meeting from Jan. 31-Feb 1 in Perth, Australia.

Last year, the ICC postponed the Champions Trophy, considered the second most prestigious one-day tournament after the World Cup, to this coming September and October in Karachi. Butt hopes staging the event will bring another $5 million to the PCB.