Tall claims made by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to improve the state of domestic cricket have so far failed to pay dividends and the lack of organisation is apparent from the fact that crucial decisions regarding the ongoing President’s Trophy are yet to be made and shared.
The PCB is yet to take a decision regarding the promotion and relegation of teams at the conclusion of the tournament, into its third round, with several department officials expressing their annoyance on the matter.
While PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf had formed a task team – featuring Intikhab Alam, Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas, Sarfraz Nawaz, Iqbal Qasim, Moin Khan, Imtiaz Ahmed and Zakir Khan – several months have passed without a finalised structure.
“It’s ridiculous that teams are playing the most important domestic event without knowing how many will be relegated and how many will be promoted from grade II,” a departmental official told The Express Tribune.
PCB official confims story
When the concerned official of the board was contacted, he confirmed that they are yet to finalise the matter since ‘the event was started in haste’. He said the only thing which was confirmed was that the final will be played between the two top teams at the end of the league stage.
In addition, cricketers have also complained that PCB should introduce Kookaburra balls which are used in international cricket, in order to better prepare for first-class cricket.
The details about the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy are also yet to be shared and there are reports that the PCB might plan the domestic Twenty20 event in the middle of the President’s Trophy to inject public interest.
Non-series attitude by PCB, says Latif
Meanwhile, former national captain Rashid Latif, looking after PQA, also blasted the board over the non-serious attitude.
“The PCB has not set a good example by hosting the event without finalising several details,” said Latif. “The board should have done its homework months ago.”
He lamented that first-class cricket was being played on dead pitches whereas Pakistan’s next series is in South Africa, where the surfaces will be livelier as he pointed out poor planning on part of the PCB.
“Top teams get their preparations underway according to their national team schedule months in advance whereas our board is sitting idle and is more interested in somehow completing the tournament as if it’s a burden.”
Latif added that departments cannot employ physiotherapists and analysts who were on the board’s payroll since holding dual positions was against the constitution.
Shah, Cheema put PIA on top
Najaf Shah took a five-for, while Aizaz Cheema bagged four scalps to help PIA take the first-inning lead against PQA on day three of their President’s Trophy match. PQA were bowled out for 278 after resuming the day on 178 for four. PIA then struggled in their second-innings against Abdur Rauf, who took three wickets, and were reduced to 123 for six for an overall lead of 181.
In another match, SBP’s Adnan Raees made 115 to help his side take a first-innings lead against UBL. Responding to UBL’s 252, SBP were dismissed for 369. In reply, UBL made 93 for three, still trailing by 24.
Elsewhere, Fawad Alam scored 93 to put NBP in a commanding position against SNGPL who were reduced to 97 for four in their second-innings and need another 51 to make NBP bat again. Ehsan Adil bagged a five-wicket haul, while Younus Khan took two and scored 48 to give HBL a chance of winning against ZTBL — for whom Saeed Ajmal bagged a six-for. Elsewhere, the match between KRL and Wapda was heading towards a draw.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2012.