“No one would dare do that to India”, Imran Khan on New Zealand, England’s pull out of Pakistan tour

England and New Zealand abandoned their tours of Pakistan last month | Getty

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has weighed in on New Zealand and England’s decision to pull out of their respective tours of Pakistan.

Last month, the Kiwis pulled out of the white-ball series in Pakistan citing security concerns, minutes before the toss for the first ODI. They were scheduled to play three ODIs and five T20Is in Rawalpindi and Lahore from September 17 to October 3.

Three days after New Zealand’s pull-out, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had announced that they will not send their men and women’s team on the tour of Pakistan, which was scheduled for this month.

While expressing his disappointment, Imran said money has become a big factor now and plays a major role in influencing the decisions of the cricket boards around the world.

The former Pakistan captain further pointed out that India controls world cricket now and the ICC receives majority of its funding from the BCCI and the Indian markets.

“England let itself down. I think that there is still this feeling in England that they do a great favour to play with countries like Pakistan. One of the reasons is that, obviously, the money,” Khan was quoted as saying in an interview with the Middle East Eye.

“Money is a big player now. For the players, as well as for the cricket boards. The money lies in India, so basically, India controls world cricket now. I mean, they do, whatever they say goes. No one would dare do that to India because they know that the sums involved, India can sort of produce much more money,” he added.

Recently, PCB chief Ramiz Raja had said that the board can collapse if neighbours India want as the ICC receives 90% of funding from that country and it means world cricket is run by Indian business houses.

“The ICC is a politicised body divided between the Asian and Western blocs and 90 per cent of its revenues are generated from India. It is frightening,” Ramiz had said.

“In a way, India’s business houses are running Pakistan cricket and if tomorrow the Indian PM decides he will not allow any funding to Pakistan, this cricket board can collapse,” he added.