Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) adviser intends to go public with irregularities in Television deals
KARACHI- Zahid Bashir, the advisor on marketing in the Pakistan Cricket Board, is planning to hold a press conference to unveil details of the improper dealings in international TV cricket contracts in recent years. “I have already collected documents pertaining to the procurement of television rights to the International Cricket Council (ICC) knockout tournament held in Dhaka in 1998 while 1 am in the process of securing other documents also after which I plan to hold a press conference to release them to the media,” said Zahid.
However, he made it clear that he was not permitted by the Pakistan Cricket Board to hold press conferences unless he had the permission of the Chairman and other senior officials. “When the Chairman returns from Dhaka, I will seek permission from him to have this press conference. If he gives it then I will definitely release the documents in my possession to the media.”
Zahid also made it clear that since he had already informed Lt General Tauqir Zia about the documents and details of improper television deals they covered, the Board Chairman might have other strategies in mind.
He said he had decided to take this step after being contacted several times in the past few days first by the solicitors for Mark Mascarenhas, the chief executive of WorldTel – and then Mascarenhas himself and finally some third parties who wanted him to hand over the documents to them. “I do not want to identify these people at this stage but they are even willing to buy the documents but I have no intentions of selling them.” He said solicitors for Mascarenhas had spoken to him about the documents and he had made it clear that if they can prove the documents, as false he would hand it over to them. “Which they have not done as yet so 1 assume the documents are genuine.”
Zahid said the third parties had also offered him to travel to London and meet the solicitors and sort things out with Mascarenha but he was not willing to do this: “Because 1 sincerely believe that the ICC and cricket boards need to now investigate into how in recent years television rights to some major tournaments have been secured by companies like WorIdTel and others.”
Zahid said after going through the documents he had no doubt there had been improper dealings while securing rights of some tournaments and these need to be looked into at the highest level. “There is a lot of money involved in television rights of major cricket tournaments and I think the time has come to regularise things now.”
Source: The News