PCB may 'abort' Tests plan against Windies

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Lahore, Oct 28 (UNI) With lack of interest shown by the broadcasters and sponsors, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is likely to 'drop' plans of hosting a Test series against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi next month.

Last night, the PCB met the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) at the final round of teleconferencing to take a final call on the proposed series, a top PCB official said.

The official, however, admitted that there were less than 50 per cent chances of the Test series taking place because the Board's financial experts are convinced that it would turn out to be a white elephant.

''We will make a call on the series tomorrow. Either we will go for it or abort it,'' said the official yesterday.

''Frankly speaking, it would be very tough to hold the series in the current circumstances,'' he stressed.

The trouble-torn nation had invited the West Indies to play two Tests in Abu Dhabi immediately after their three-match One-day International series to be held at the same venue, commencing from November 12-16.

The Pakistani players are starved of Test cricket as they were left without a single Test, following Australia's decision to scrap this year's tour of Pakistan because of security reasons.

Also PCB's invitation to the West Indies to play two Tests in the country in November was rejected by the WICB, citing security concerns.

Later, the PCB asked West Indies to play the Tests in Abu Dhabi.

This time, the WICB agreed to play the series but asked for a million dollars in return, which fell harshly on the PCB, as it could not pay such a big sum for a series that is unlikely to attract any worthwhile TV rights deal or sponsorship.

However, the PCB offered the WICB a sum of 400,000 dollars for the two Tests and is now awaiting a response on the offer. Even if the WICB agrees to the PCB offer, the Test series, if it takes place, would result in a big loss for Pakistan.

It seems that the PCB would have to spend around two million dollars on holding the two Tests and would only be able to generate a fraction of that amount through TV rights and sponsorship. Just braodcasting 10 days of cricket, the PCB have to pay around a million dollars.

''To spend 16 crore rupees on two Tests without generating any worthwhile revenue, will be too big a loss,'' said the official.''But we are still keeping our fingers crossed with the hope that a breakthrough will be achieved soon,'' he affirmed.

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