PCB in deadlock with ACC on demanding additional compensation for chartered flights during Asia Cup


PTI, Nov 28, 2023, 4:43 PM IST

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was on Tuesday caught in a deadlock with the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) for demanding additional compensation on organising chartered flights between Pakistan and Sri Lanka during the Asia Cup, which it co-hosted in August-September. The Asia Cup 2023 was organised in a hybrid model in Pakistan and Sri Lanka after the ACC accepted PCB’s hybrid model, with majority of the matches organised in the island nation.

A reliable source in the PCB informed PTI that apart from seeking the tournament hosting fees — around $250,000 — as well as shares from ticketing and sponsorship fees, they have also demanded additional compensation. The source said, “The additional money is for expenses incurred on renting chartered flights for teams between Pakistan and Sri Lanka and other extra expenses like additional hotel and transport fees, which were not included in the initial budget for the Asia Cup.”

The source, however, informed that the ACC is not willing to pay additional expenses to the PCB since it believes that Pakistan had agreed for matches to be held in Sri Lanka under its hybrid model, in return for hosting four games of the Asia Cup at home. A Sri Lanka-based company named Classic Travel was paid $281,000 for arranging four chartered flights to and fro between Pakistan and the island nation — something that PCB’s Cricket Management Committee (CMC) was not comfortable paying upfront as advance.

The tournament was moved to a hybrid model after India refused to play in Pakistan citing security reasons.

While Pakistan hosted only four matches initially, the expenses ballooned apparently because the CMC head Zaka Ashraf moved one of these games from Lahore to Multan, near his hometown.

The source said since the ACC decided to hold matches in Sri Lanka, it was their responsibility to pay for the chartered flights and other additional expenses incurred by the PCB, which, in its meeting, had approved the expenses. The source added that Pakistan, who played against Afghanistan in Sri Lanka just before the Asia Cup, were slated to return home for the Asia Cup. But since the event was held mostly in Sri Lanka, PCB had to arrange chartered flights between Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The company arranging the flights had quoted a rate of $281,700 for four chartered flights and all money was demanded in advance.

The PCB also considered selling vacant seats on the chartered aircrafts to fans, but the idea was trashed owing to security reasons. Meanwhile, claims have also emerged that a top PCB official used one of the chartered flights to take his family to Colombo.

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