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Pakistan fear financial gloom if India pull out

The Pakistan Cricket Board could lose potential earnings of around $20 million if India cancel their tour starting next month, a cricket official said on Thursday.

cricket Updated: Dec 18, 2008 15:27 IST

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) could lose potential earnings of around $20 million if India cancel their tour starting next month, a cricket official said on Thursday.

"That is a lot of revenue involved for us in a series with India and it also directly affects the new deal we have signed for television rights," the official, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters.

India's test and one-day tour due to start in the first week of January is in serious doubt due to strained bilateral relations between the neighbours following last month's militant attacks in Mumbai.

With just 16 days left for the tour, The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has said its government is yet to give clearance.

PCB chief operating officer Saleem Altaf said Pakistan cricket was already facing a financial crunch due to the postponement of major events.

"India's pullout would make it worse for us," he told Reuters. "If there is no India series obviously we gain nothing from our new television deal and lose out on other sources of income as well."

The PCB recently signed a new television rights deal worth $140.5 million with the Dubai based Ten Sports.

Pakistan have not played a single test this year and has been restricted to just 21 one-day internationals, mostly against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe as top teams have refused tour because of security concerns.

Altaf said the board had received no fresh bids for the sale of the title sponsorship and stadium billboards and was trying to sell sponsorship rights for each series.

"With no international cricket ahead obviously no sponsors are willing to sign long term deals with us," he added. In 2004, when India toured Pakistan after a gap of nearly 15 years, PCB earned close to $20 million.
The PCB are considering inviting Sri Lanka to tour if India do pull out.

Altaf said the PCB was downsizing staff and other expenses by around 40 per cent due to its current financial crunch. Chairman Ejaz Butt has said when he took charge in October, the PCB had cash assets worth only around $25 million.
Altaf said the board was also trying to 'rationalise' cash benefits to players in their new central contracts due to be offered next month.