Ever since the inception of the Imran Khan government, Pakistan has constantly faced a barrage of embarrassments one after the another as the Pakistan government has developed a penchant for shooting itself in the foot. In yet another embarrassment, the country will be deprived of seeing the Pakistan cricket team face-off against England in limited overs internationals as the broadcast rights are with Indian companies with the Imran Khan government unwilling to do business with them until India reverses its August 5, 2019 decision of scrapping Article 370.
Pakistan’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhary stated that the Babar Azam-led Pakistan cricket team’s tour of England where they will face-off for six white ball matches will not be telecasted in the country as the Imran Khan government is not willing to do business with Indian companies until the decision to scrap Article 370 is revoked thereby restoring the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. At present, Indian companies hold the right to broadcast matches in South Asia. Hence, Pakistan Television Corporation’s (PTV) request for a deal with Star and Asia – who are Indian broadcasters was promptly rejected by the Pakistan government.
Chaudhary said, “Indian companies hold the rights to broadcast [matches] in South Asia …. and we cannot conduct business with any Indian company.”
He added, “Normalisation of ties with India is subject to it taking back the August 5 decision.” Chaudhary who is known for his logic defying comments arrived at the decision despite fully aware of the fact that the beleaguered Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and PTV will indeed face considerable losses as a result of the matches not being broadcasted in Pakistan.
Chaudhary is now all set to approach the ECB to look for possible alternatives and solutions.
Perhaps this decision by Fawad Chaudhary will help the Pakistan Cricket Team who are known to favour playing minnows almost every other series with the likes of Zimbabwe their preferred opponents. Facing England, who is one of the best sides when it comes to limited overs cricket that too in their own backyard, will be a huge step up for the team which is clearly lacking form if one ignores their recent wins against limited oppositions like Zimbabwe. Should the Babar Azam led side be embarrassed in successive games, the players can take solace from the fact that their poor performances will not be showcased back home.