The manner in which the words – spoken or written – in these chaotic milieu appear and disappear with each passing second, to write anything about the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) would be an exercise in futility.
I came across a phrase for people suffering from a hearing impediment – “Increase in volume must be made above the usual level before the listener can detect it” – and that forced me to add my voice to the hoarse throats gone unheard over the past few months.
In the first week of October 2006, an HR audit was conducted to ascertain the PCB’s viability in terms of its policies, procedures and business practices. The report pointed out various irregularities in cash and kind to the regional cricket associations and district cricket associations on account of holding various tournaments and training camps as well as distribution of equipment.
The money dished out to these satellite organisations was never accounted for. In the same vein, ground equipment worth millions was ‘donated’ to these bodies without following any procurement, inventory or capitalisation rules.
The audit was followed by recommendations that a supply-chain management department at PCB should be formed. Once in place, the management of the PCB signed an MOU with all regional associations which primarily assured them of their share of gate money for international fixtures, adherence to PCB’s procurement SOPs and, for the first time in the board’s history, it was agreed that bank accounts off all eleven regions shall be maintained and PCB’s regional accounts officer and a representative of the RCA shall be cosignatory.
Tauqir Zia did a tremendous job of establishing the National Cricket Academy and 19 grounds across the country. They were found to be in a pathetic condition in an audit report – most of them used for animal grazing. The idea was to bring in the best corporate practices in order to institutionalise the cricket development department, then headed by Mudassar Nazar. The first of the series of bad decisions made by the present chairman was letting Nazar go. And that is the greatest disservice to the game of cricket.
Hardly a month had passed with Ijaz Butt in power when a powerful lobby, headed by an influential regional association president, convinced the chairman to ignore all the ‘buts’ and the regional setup was sent packing. Now the PCB and its regional offices are back to the old ways and millions of rupees are being squandered away. Cricket development is at its lowest ebb and the state of over 32 grounds built during the last tenure is anyone’s guess.
It is sad that this issue never got the attention it rightly deserved and most of the sacked employees are suffering from the humiliation that comes with not having a job, while people with vested interests are basking in glory with the revival of an inefficient, unworkable and muddy system.
The writer is a former PCB director HR, admin and supply chain
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2010.
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