Sethi urges media to play its role for making Azadi Tournament a success

Lahore: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi on Thursday has urged the the nation  to play its part in making the upcoming World XI Azadi Cup a success tournament.

Sethi made these remarks while speaking at the unveiling of the tournament logo, “Everyone, especially the media, needs to play their part in making this series a success for our own national interest,” he said.

“The media holds a lot of power, but often in the rush to produce breaking news you are not careful and misreport things, turning it into fake news,” he said, cautioning the media to report responsibly as “whatever our media puts out there will be quoted by the international media”

He added: “The media has a grip over the hearts and minds of the nation. Whatever you say, the people believe to be true, so report facts correctly.”

Sethi also stressed that “irresponsible reporting” may affect Sri Lanka’s decision to visit Pakistan for a T20 match and the subsequent arrival of West Indies for a three-match series next month.

“Both teams’ arrival is subject to the success of this tournament,” Sethi explained.

“International players visiting the country have requested that they be sanitised,” Sethi stated. “We have agreed to this.”

“However, reporters wishing to get in touch with these players should get in touch with us and we will make it happen instead of trying to speak to them directly,” he said. However, “Some players have also said that they do not want to speak to the media at all, and their wishes will be respected as well.”

PCB’s plan for bringing cricket to Karachi
While discussing what he described as “the heartburn” being felt in Karachi due to no matches being played there, Sethi said, “I know people are not happy that there are no matches being played in Karachi, especially after the improved security situation… However the international community needs more reassurance and we have a plan for that.”

“We will take the international security team assessing the [security] situation in Lahore to Karachi as well and ask for their recommendations. After this, with the Sindh chief minister’s cooperation, we will work on a security plan for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and conduct four of those matches in Karachi.”

“Once we have successfully conducted PSL matches in Karachi, we will be in the position to convince international teams to play in Karachi,” he explained.

“At most, it will just be a two year struggle for us, after which we will be able to host international tournaments as regularly as any other cricketing nation,” he said.

Players from England, New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe will be visiting Pakistan as part of the World XI squad for a three-match T20 series this month.

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