Can Pakistani cricket save itself from disaster?

Members of the cricket board influence teams, affect their performance, warp image of cricket...

Ahmad Fuad November 17, 2010
Unpredictable is the most suitable word for the Pakistan Cricket Board, team and individuals. Nobody knows when PCB will take a U-turn on one of its decisions, when the team conquers world’s best team and kneels down to the weakest side, when a top class cricketer announces his retirement and all of a sudden, gets a chance to play at highest level without any prior preparation.

In a proper system, the administration and players are both important and work within their domains to strengthen each other but they never interfere in each other’s domain. Both are answerable for their job and get rewarded and penalized according to their performance. But, here in Pakistan, the case is altogether different. Members of the cricket board influence teams and this affects performance. That is how the PCB hurts its own performance and image.

How did the PCB get here?

The reason for this whole mess is quite understandable. The story begins, continues and ends with individuals’ power and absence of transparent system. From Abdul Fazal Mahmood to Muhammad Amir, Pakistan has been blessed with the talented performers and match winner players. No one can deny that Imran Khan introduced the philosophy of “fight back” in modern cricket. Had Abdul Qadir not been performing exceptionally good in limited over games, the inclusion of spinners in one dayers and T20 would have still have been a dream. Doosra belongs to Saqlain and reverse swing enjoyed its glory from Waqar and Wasim’s hands. Such talented people can destroy any planning of the opponent, be it the cricket ground or the cricket board.

As captain Imran Khan, always exceeded his limits and insisted to play with the team.  Instead of going to the ground for selection he made them with the team of the selection committee. In the past, Inzamam ul Haq, Waqar Younus, Wasim Akram and most recently Shahid Afridi expressed concerns over the selected players.

And unlike Cricket Australia, no one could warn them: “Mr. Captain, this is not your job. The task you are assigned, starts from the boundary rope and ends when you cross it. Let the right people do their job”

Following the wrong leader

This is not the end of the story; we have witnessed a number of revolutions against weak captains like Miandad, Wasim Akram, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf. And now, it is the turn of a person who is not even part of the team - chairman cricket board,  Ijaz Butt.

We have seen a few examples of punishing players but with no investigation and with one pen stroke, they were given a certificate to represent the country at the highest level. When convenient the player turned out to be “Mr Clean” within no time. None of the officials have ever been punished for poor performance and even if they were, the issues were never investigated.

Pakistan Cricket Board has its constitution which recommends elected professionals for every post but it is being run by the appointed people, the ones who are answerable to no one.

Accountability part is missing everywhere. PCB needs to introduce a system where players and officials of the board could be asked the reason for their poor performance and could be punished for any misconduct.

A failure to make thing better

It is true that PCB is not playing its role effectively. They are unable to handle issue at international level and they have failed to develop a system which could help bring out professional cricketers from the scratch.

The job description of the selection committee should not only be defined but should also be adhered. They should be forced to visit every Grade I and Grade II match and submit their report to chairman about their observations. The observations should not be based on score board, but on the decision making of the playing sides and their attempts to make efforts to win the game.

Level I, II and III coaches should be groomed according to their skills and should be sent to Australia and England for further certifications.

What needs to be done?

PCB needs to have back up of for every player and needs to design their job description. From Under 15 to the national team, they should be sent for workshops on media handling and how to be a role model for their fans, how to avoid controversies and how to be mindful about the people with negative background.

The Pakistan Cricket Board needs to understand the changes that are happening all over the world and the role of the media. Pakistani and international media has been more influential than in the past. If anyone disobeys the code of conduct, they must be penalized by the board and no one should be allowed to go against that, even if it hurts their career. In the long run, this will help the system.

In a nutshell, if PCB really wants to avoid the expected disaster, it has to work on two things, one, its system by meting out rewards and punishments. Two, grooming the individuals to handle international media. This practice can develop PCB as a role model for rest of the world.
Ahmad Fuad A corporate training specialist and motivational speaker. Fuad has also worked as a professional sports journalist for Daily Khabrain and has been writing bi-lingual articles for national and international journals. He played professional cricket at the Under 16 and Under 19 level.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Javed Iqbal | 13 years ago | Reply The game of cricket has changed a lot in the past ten years; it has become a science and one of the most attractive business in the world. We see India at the top because of their sincerity towards the game; they have earned all the top positions because of their apt policies and strategies for attracting the spectators and business world. First we need to that why we are at the verge of disaster today. ‘Vox populi Vox dei’ (Voice of people is the voice of God), here in Pakistan everybody is screaming please remove the chairman of the PCB. Even if you go to a person who doesn’t know much about Cricket but have some experience of Management or Administration at Strategic or Tactical level of any organization, he will give you the same answer that person who has got the responsibility of selecting everybody else, his selection is the biggest question mark. Now everybody knows that he is there at that position because of Nepotism, he is the relative of one our minister who is very close to President of Pakistan, key figure who is responsible for the selection of the board chairman. All the nation know that why our talented players like Aamir, Salman and Asif are facing music, just because of the laziness of cricket board, there members have said many times on different channels that they knew that something fishy is going on then action should be taken by them before ICC to save players from ban and even if they are guilty it is not proved yet, there shouldn’t be any ban, example of Suresh Raina is in front of us, questions against him were raised by the Srilankan board not by a news paper with a bad reputation in the past. There are few more events which show lack of seriousness and commitment from the board members and their head. More than one year has passed when the Srilankan team mishap took place but no interest was shown by the Cricket board. They should raise their voice for catching the culprits who are behind that mishap because if they have some good results in this case image of our Cricket could have restored at international level. Our last year local T20 champion team (Sialkot) was not included in the champions’ league but our board officials showed dead silence in that case. Recently final of T20 was played between Lahore and Karachi, there were more than forty thousand spectators and many more outside the ground who were anxious to enter, they just verbally said once that they will send the video of that match to ICC but I have never seen the highlights of that match on local channels, which shows true picture and their intentions that match should be shown again and again on all big sports channels with international expert opinions to attract the attentions of ICC. Following steps should be taken to avoid imminent disaster.  Removal of PCB Chairman o All media, committees, associations and bodies who are related to this sport should protest at all levels till they get their desired results not only threats of resignation for publicity.  Formation of Independent Committee for the Selection of the Chairman of PCB and members o Committee member should be competent, capable and concerned with game like Imran Khan; he offered his services once at one platform that he is ready for that but not for running the board. This is the only way for the selection of the right person at the top and after that all other affairs will become transparent automatically.  Pool of fifty talented players o After selecting the head and board members on merit, the actual step comes because this game and industry is flourishing because of the stars which have big fan club like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Tendulkar, Viv Richards, Afridi and Abdul Razzak. There should be a pool of fifty talented players because we see unbelievable performances like the one of Abdul Razzak’s in the 2nd ODI against SA but we can be more consistent if we have more groomed player like him in the pool, this will bring professionalism and end grouping and player power.
muntazir | 13 years ago | Reply Dear Fuad, very impressive :) keep it up
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