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Turmoil in Pakistan Cricket

by Aasim Ejaz

Dismal performance of Pakistan cricket team in the T20 World Cup has opened many Pandora boxes. Leaked media reports, charged up fans, media channels & ex cricketers flaying team, board & management. Everyone seems to have their own ax to grind are yelling at the performance of cricketers and cricket Board.
While sharing the grief of this cricket loving nation, one should also acknowledge the fact that over the years, performances of all state institutions have been deteriorated and PCB is no exception.. Appointment of henchmen at the prize post of Chairman Pakistan cricket Board has marred PCB performance and no immediate redress measure can cure this sicken body with any magic wand.
Would Change of Chairman, Chief Selector, Head Coach or Captain make any difference? No. Mere Changes of faces would not solve the problem, unless or until the whole cricket structure is revamped and redesigned.

In last 10-12 years PCB has seen Mr. Tauqeer Zia, Dr Nasim Ashraf, Ejaz Butt, Zaka Ashraf and now Mr. Sheharyar and Sethi to call the shot at the highest level, but neither of them was selected for their management acumen ship. All of these have been appointed for their strong rapport in “power Corridors”. Appointment of henchmen at the prize post of Chairman Pakistan cricket Board has marred PCB performance and no immediate redress measure can cure this sicken body with any magic wand. These personalities may have successful careers in their own respective field, but running a sports body was not their cup of tea.

Despite hundreds of pages have been written by eminent analysts for improvement of cricket in this country but all went to deaf ears. But it is our love for this game which forced us to yank out some lines for improvement and revival of cricket in this country.

As a first step, being Patron in Chief of Pakistan Cricket Board Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should empower the governing body of PCB to select a Chairman at their own as other corporate bodies of the world select for themselves.  Chairman PCB should not necessarily be an old cricketing hero rather a diehard professional having strong flair for this game is highly desired since managing and playing cricket is a different ball game.

In cricketing world we have seen that almost all leading cricket boards are now being led by professionals not by eminent cricketers. Be it Cricket Board of Australia, having Mr. James Alexander Sutherland as its CEO or English Cricket board with Mr. Colin Graves as ECB Chairman. Neither of them famous for cricket. Even our neighboring country India is having Mr. Shashank Vyankatesh Manohar as head of the Indian Cricket Board, more known for his management skills rather than for his Cricket expertise.

A few years back we use to have very strong competitive cricket at School & College level, which produced highly skilled quality cricketers at grass root level. All schools and colleges had their own grounds to promote sports activities. With the passage of time it extinct from cricket arena. If we want revival of cricket then as a second step we should promote School & College cricket. All colleges and Schools should only be allowed registrations, operations if they have their own grounds. All local bodies should be advised to arrange & manage at least one cricket ground at UC level.

All cricket academies, run by PCB, are more or less nonfunctional. These academies should needs to be functional immediately. Cricketers selected from Schools and colleges’ cricket should be groomed and coached by highly capable coaches at these academies, which would not only nourish these young cricketers but would also remove technical flaws in their bowling and betting skills. Hire good batting & coaches. Hire someone like Inzamam, Yosuf & Waseem Akram  to train young cricketers .

Under 16/19 teams should be picked from these academy cricketers and cricket tours, particularly of Australia, England and India should be arranged for these cricketers. Since all these countries are having different kind of cricket atmosphere and cricket pitches it would enable these cricketers to face tough conditions at junior level and mentally strengthen them to handle game pressure.

Domestic Cricket needs to be restructured with fewer teams to play competitive first class cricket to improve its standard. Be these tournaments are organized on Regional basis or Inter Departmental, PCB should ensure that all leading national players participate in these tournaments and national team should only be selected from the players who participate in these tournaments. Companies must employ these young cricketers so that they get a steady income, which will encourage them to continue to play the game

All these measures will take time but will surely put Pakistan cricket back to its best.

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Courtsey :- World views Pakistan