PCB chief denies bribing Zimbabwe players for tour

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Lahore, June 13 (IANS) Pakistan Cricket Board chief (PCB) Shahryar Khan confirmed that a deal was struck with Zimbabwe but rubbished claims that the African side was “bribed” to tour Pakistan.

Zimbabwe became the first full member team to tour Pakistan after the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan squad in 2009, but there were widespread rumours that the African players were paid $12,500 each to make the visit.

The news first emerged when the team ignored the advice of the Zimbabwe government’s Sports and Recreation Committee (SRC) against touring the violence-hit country.

“It was just a one-off deal. It does not mean that we will be paying every team which tours Pakistan. The Zimbabwe series was an exception. We are very thankful to Zimbabwe for visiting Pakistan,” Khan was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia (CA) on Friday.

“Now we will visit them in August which will be our return tour. The next series will be on bilateral terms. The team we will host will host us in return. It is as simple as that,” he said.

The PCB chairman said it was time to look at the positives from the series and build upon the confidence that the Zimbabwe visit must have given to the international cricketing fraternity.

“The Zimbabwe players told us they had not received such a rousing welcome anywhere before. The series was played in good environment and has shrugged off security fears,” Khan said.

“The series will also help us in staging Pakistan Super League in future,” he said.

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