The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in reply to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Pakistan Task Team’s (PTT) recommendations, has identified a number of factual errors in its observations and pointed out that the set-up under which Pakistan cricket has been running for the past 60 years cannot survive without government support.
The PTT in its report on Pakistan’s cricket structure had expressed reservations on the country’s president having the authority to appoint the PCB chairman.
“The circumstances in Pakistan are unique and cricket administration here requires and deserves government support,” the PCB response stated. “Keeping in view the extraordinary security situation in the country, having the president as patron of the PCB adds tremendous value and comfort.”
The PCB further pointed out that this very system had helped the country reach the top of the cricket world, and so labelling it faulty was unfair.
The PCB in its reply to the ICC also expressed surprise over the fact that the PTT came up with its recommendations regarding the entire cricket structure of the country without the team ever deigning to visit Pakistan. The board has also termed the report a “scholarly exercise” rather than being Pakistan-specific.
“There are a number of factual errors in the report. It’s been prepared without the PTT ever visiting Pakistan except for a brief chat of a few hours that David Richardson had with a few ex-players during his visit to Karachi in January or perhaps some input to the PTT from Ramiz [Raja]. This raises serious questions on the observations given in the report.”
The India factor
The PCB also urged the ICC and the PTT to play a more active and substantial role in reviving Pakistan’s bilateral cricketing ties with India.
“We don’t have anything to suggest on record that the PTT/ICC made any efforts to engage with the Board of Control for Cricket in India or the Indian government in this regard,” said the PCB. “While we appreciate that Mike Brearley and Greg Chappell were made ambassadors to support Pakistan cricket, we are yet to observe any endeavours from their side. Although with their standing in international cricket, they could have gone a long way in supporting cricket in Pakistan.”
PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt, meanwhile, reiterated the board’s stance that it was entirely up to the board to implement the recommendations of the PTT.
“I’m grateful to the PTT for their work,” he said. “While the intent cannot be questioned, few discrepancies can be identified in the report, which the PCB considers duty-bound to rectify.”
Lorgat responds to PCB’s woes
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat has responded to the observations that the PCB has made on the PTT’s recommendations for the country’s cricket structure. Lorgat, responding to the board’s comments that the report was not ‘Pakistan-specific’, said that the task team had engaged with the PCB regularly since its formation. After the spot-fixing scandal hit Pakistan cricket, the ICC board, with ‘total support of the PCB’ extended the Terms of Reference of the PTT to ‘address the protection of the integrity of cricket within Pakistan’. Lorgat goes on to state that the PTT members gave ‘their time freely and without remuneration in order to assist the PCB.’ According to the ICC, the remit of the PTT was to suggest ways in which the PCB could improve its structure and it was entirely up to the board to implement the recommendations made.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2011.
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