BIRMINGHAM: Former CEO of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Wasim Khan welcomed the Australian cricket team to Pakistan and termed it a “huge occasion” for not only cricket fans in Pakistan but also around the globe.
He was speaking exclusively to Geo News after addressing a career advice seminar organised by the University of Warwick’s Pakistan Society.
On the occasion, Wasim said that “he gets very excited about the tour like all other Pakistanis and cricket lovers as it is a huge occasion for the whole nation”.
He said that this will send out a “huge message” to the world.
All the details for this tour were finalised, including the rescheduling of the Pakistan Super League (PSL)’s seventh edition, due to Australia’s tour to Pakistan.
He further revealed that just before the start of the first Test between Pakistan and Australia at Rawalpindi, the CEO of Cricket Australia Nick Hockley had sent him a personal message of gratitude for his involvement and efforts to initially set the details and itinerary of the tour.
“Hockley thanked me for all the hard work that was done for nearly 18 months to finalise the details of the tour,” said Wasim.
Wasim said that it wasn’t just a single person’s work but a team effort as many people played their part to make this possible. “I have been in regular contact with Cricket Australia’s management and also players like Usman Khwaja,” he added.
Emphasising the importance of this tour, he said that it was necessary after the unfortunate withdrawal of New Zealand and then England from their scheduled tour to Pakistan last year.
Wasim added that there is no reason left for both England and New Zealand to not tour Pakistan later this year.
“It feels so great that such positive news is coming out of Pakistan. The statements from Australians are very encouraging, which is a real proud moment for Pakistan.
“I was personally very disappointed, in fact, everyone was, as all of us put so much effort to make that possible,” he said.
He further added that the best thing about PCB is the board brushed it off quickly and shifted its complete focus on Australia’s tour.
He dismissed the recent rumours and speculations in the media about running as the CEO for English cricket.
Thanking students for inviting him to speak at the seminar, he said he is glad to be back at the university.
“We had a great and interesting interaction. I advised them how to structure their career and how to deal with and overcome the obstacles and also shared my experience of working in Pakistan,” he said.
Wasim was the first Muslim British-Pakistani to play professional cricket in England when he made his first-class county debut for Warwickshire in 1992.
After retiring from professional cricket, he joined the cricket foundation. He was instrumental in setting up the foundation’s £50 million worth “Chance to Shine” programme regarded as one of the most important cricket campaigns to introduce comparative cricket in state schools.
For his services to cricket, he’s awarded MBE by the Queen in 2013.
Wasim has also served as the CEO of Leicestershire County Cricket Club since 2014. Later, he joined the PCB as managing director in 2018 and then became the CEO before resigning in 2021.
Recently, Wasim was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Leicester for being a diversity champion in the cricket world.
“To get an honorary degree was a total surprise for me. But I’m glad that I received it. It was a real honour for me and for that I’m very thankful to the University of Leicester,” he said.
He further expressed that he will always be grateful and have gratitude to Leicestershire CCC for the opportunity to lead the organisation as CEO from 2015 to 2018 before leading the PCB as CEO.
“The warmth and support I experienced from the people of Leicester and everyone associated with the Foxes (Leicestershire CCC) will always remain with me,” he added.
At the end of the seminar, students had a Q&A session with Wasim — who also shared his on and off the field experiences from his life both in the UK and in Pakistan.
This content was originally published here.