Pakistan rejected 'big three' offer

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Acting PCB chief Najam Sethi revealed that his predecessor rejected an offer from India to join the 'big three' when the restructuring of the ICC was discussed earlier this year.

<b>Acting Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Najam Sethi revealed that his predecessor rejected an offer from India to join the 'big three' when the restructuring of the ICC was discussed earlier this year.</b>

The PCB, along with South Africa and Sri Lanka, was initially against the proposed revamp of the ICC, which handed the majority of the revenues to the so-called big three in international cricket – India, Australia and England.

When the voting on the issue took place, Sri Lanka and Pakistan abstained while South Africa sided with the big three.

Sethi, though, confirmed that Pakistan was also offered a chance to join the top trio but decided against it.

"The big three of the ICC had invited Pakistan to be part of a 'big four' plan but the administration under former PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf refused the offer, to the detriment of the country," Sethi said before leaving Pakistan for Dubai for this week's ICC meeting.

"In the cricketing scenario, currently there are eight countries at one side and Pakistan at the other. The ICC doesn't need Pakistan after the rejection of such a rare offer.

"They did offer us to join the group but when I went to attend the ICC meeting in February India stepped back from its offer, claiming two other members of the body – Australia and England – are not ready to admit Pakistan as a fourth member.

Ashraf, who was dismissed shortly after the ICC reforms took place, claims that India's reassurances were never received in writing.

"Whatever India offered us were not on paper and we could not have taken those verbal assurances," Ashraf told reporters.

Meanwhile, Sethi confirmed that his main aim while in charge is to revive cricketing ties with India.

"A series against India would bring huge revenue to the PCB besides bringing peace and prosperity to the region as the cricketing ties have been suspended for many years," Sethi said.

"Until and unless we play with India, we won't make any money. Everyone is toeing India's line because playing with India makes you money."

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