Sethi set to make important announcements with Azam, Asia Cup on the agenda

January 22, 2023
By Sohail Imran

Babar Azam (L) speaks with Rohit Sharma (R) during Asia Cup— AFP

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee Chairman Najam Sethi will hold a press conference at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Monday, January 23, with important announcements likely.

According to sources, Sethi will shed light on his meeting with officials of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), Asian Cricket Council (ACC), International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) during his trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently.

He will also give a policy statement on the Asia Cup 2023, which is set to be hosted by Pakistan.

It must be noted that, in October last year Pakistani cricket authorities, led by former chairman Ramiz Raja, hinted they may pull out of next year's World Cup in India, a day after BCCI officials said they would not send a team to the 2023 Asia Cup in Pakistan.

Jay Shah, who is BCCI secretary and also the president of the Asian Cricket Council, had said that India "can't" send a team to Pakistan, adding the tournament would be moved to a neutral venue.

His announcement caught Pakistan by surprise, with officials warning it could "split" the international cricket community.

Sethi is also likely to brief media about changes in the team management, while also addressing speculations about national side’s captaincy— which is currently led by Babar Azam in all formats.

The PCB chief could also make announcements regarding the national and junior selection committees, which were disbanded soon after Sethi took charge.

Pakistan to face Afghanistan

Sethi could also confirm that Pakistan will accept Afghanistan’s offer regarding three-match ODI series between the two sides in the UAE in March.

The development comes after Cricket Australia recently pulled out of the three-match ODI series in March, citing Taliban moves to further restrict women's rights.

Due to restrictions placed by the Taliban-led government, Afghanistan is the only full-member country without a functioning women's team. Girls are officially prohibited from attending universities, gymnasiums, middle and high schools, and parks.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) expressed disappointment and said the board will take the matter to the International Cricket Council (ICC).