ICL: Indian Cricket League

PCB brings in British expert to fix insurance problem


PCB officials will be meeting a British insurance risk expert in an effort to maximise the returns on its insurance investments. The board has, despite insurance cover, suffered huge losses from recent security-related incidents and there is an official inquiry into an alleged insurance scam involving Australia’s postponed tour of Pakistan in February-March this year.

Saleem Altaf, the PCB’s chief operating officer said the expert, David Boorman, will meet key board officials during his short visit, due to begin today. “It’s a free-of-cost exercise aimed at getting expert advice on how we can maximise our interests when it comes to insurance,” he told the News.

Boorman will meet with a team of PCB officials, and the board may later take important decisions on the basis of his advice. “We have to tackle the matter very seriously because of past losses,” said Altaf. “We are paying a premium of almost 60 million Pakistan rupees annually and getting nothing in return.”

“It’s an important issue for us after what happened in the past,” said Altaf, who had met Boorman during an official visit in Dubai.

Altaf was referring to the situation surrounding Australia’s tour earlier this year. Mindful of the security climate, the board had insured Pakistan’s series under the Future Tours Programme - including Australia’s tour - for $7.4 million. However, after Australia’s tour was postponed, Nasim Ashraf, the then PCB chairman, said the board could not claim insurance money for the series since it was a postponement and not a cancellation.

It was later alleged by some board officials that the whole insurance affair was a scam and there was no record of the insurance deal, following which the PCB ordered an independent inquiry. Ijaz Butt, Ashraf’s successor, has said the inquiry was underway and details would soon be made public.

The PCB is facing a serious financial crunch and is looking at ways to minimise its expenses, after the Champions Trophy scheduled in October was also deferred by a year.

The board is also extremely cautious about insuring India’s visit in January after relations between both countries hit a low after the recent terror attacks in Mumbai, throwing the tour in doubt.

“We are looking to insure on the basis that India is touring Pakistan,” a board official told Cricinfo. “If we insure, then we will not do so for just the premium - we want to insure against the potential revenue as well. We will only insure if we can do so against revenue.

The final package, the Board official said, will cover cancellations and postponements arising from acts of terror. “The management has learnt from the errors of the previous administration. We will look at every possible angle before deciding on what insurance to go for.”

India are scheduled to play three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 international in Pakistan between January 13-February 19.

Source:Cricket News

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