KARACHI: Sialkot region officials are unhappy with the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) ‘unwanted interference’ in appointing team officials for the Champions League Twenty20.
Sialkot Stallions will become the first Pakistan side to take part in the mega event if it manages to qualify for the main event – Shoaib Malik’s side will take on Auckland Aces on October 9 before meeting Hampshire two days later, needing to top the qualifying pool in order to progress.
Preparation off on the wrong foot
However, according to a Sialkot region official, the team’s preparation for the event got off on the wrong foot after the PCB appointed Naushad Ali team manager.
“Stallions have won so many domestic T20 tournaments and Naeem, who has been the team manager for such a long time, knew the squad inside out,” a Sialkot region official told The Express Tribune. “Now, just for the tournament, the PCB has appointed Naushad in his place without involving the region or our officials.
“There’s a lot of politics going on behind the scenes but the only reason we wanted to stick with Naeem was because of unity and solidarity.”
Big-name signings ruled out by official
Meanwhile, the official also ruled out any big-name signings for the Champions League and insisted that the current crop of players, who have performed outstandingly on the domestic circuit, will be persisted with.
“We are content with the players that we have. The only issue was the replacement of the manager. Naveed Anjum, our coach, was moved to Faisalabad but recalled for the mega event and we are at a loss as to why the PCB wants its own manager.
“Even our players wanted to raise their voices against the decision but the PCB threatened action against them which is why they decided to keep quiet.”
Stallions have won six of the national Twenty20 events – including five consecutive ones that saw them win 25 consecutive matches – and are also the reigning Super Eight T20 Cup winners.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2012.