ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) on Thursday gave green signal to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for setting up a television channel and radio station for promotion of the game.

The committee, which met here at the Parliament House with Mushahid Ullah Khan in the chair, reviewed the working of the PCB, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA). The meeting was attended by IPC minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada, secretary Raja Nadir Ali, Senator Sardar M Azam Khan, PCB executive committee chairman Najam Sethi, PCB Director Academies Mudassar Nazar, Shakil Shaikh, Subhan Ahmed, PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmad Senior and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) officials.

Najam Sethi said the board needed to establish its own television channel and radio station for the betterment of sports activities. Upon this Mushahid Ullah Khan said that it would be great initiative and the board should work on it. Other members of the committee were also of the view that the channel and station would help promote cricket. “PCB patron Nawaz Sharif has granted the board permission to inaugurate own channel and radio station and we are in close contact with PEMRA in this regard. Hopefully, things will be sorted out and soon the PCB will have its own channel and radio station.”

Sethi said the board was criticised when Pakistan performed poorly in the Asia Cup and the World Twenty20. "We need time to improve in our Twenty20 team and its rankings," he said. He said after the Sri Lanka team attack in 2009, there is no international cricket in Pakistan. "This is the reason we established Pakistan Super League and its first edition went very successful.”

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has given us task of inviting foreign teams to Pakistan and we are working on that. If we manage to successfully conduct the second edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) and if the final will be held in Lahore as per our planning, it is almost certain international cricket will resume in Pakistan and the players and teams will not hesitate in touring the country. Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif has also given us full assurance and promised to provide blanket security in case the PSL final is held at Lahore.”

He said: “A number of critics, whom we denied jobs or benefits in the PCB, are now sitting on different television channels and criticising the PCB. I am not ready to pay heed to them, but I will write a book and reveal all the details about these elements and bring everything to the masses about their names and demands. We have spent millions on the construction of Bugti Cricket Stadium in Balochistan, but nobody pays attention towards cricket in that province. If we compromise on cricket team and allow back-benchers and select under performers, then it will spell disaster on our cricket.

Shakil Shaikh said: “We have offered former cricketers role in umpiring, match referee and other areas, while they were also consulted for given suggestions in domestic cricket. The PCB has introduced similar constitution of clubs and associations, but unless grassroots level cricket is improved, we can’t expect betterment in the national team.”

Senator Mushaid Ullah lauded Najam Sehti’s efforts and assured him all-out support of the committee. “The committee will cooperate with the PCB for the betterment and improvement of cricket. The media should not hurl unwanted and unnecessary criticism and there must not be any compromise on merit when it comes to selection of the players. The former cricketers should be given task of think tang role in the PCB.”