Former International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani has slammed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for changing the schedule of its President’s Cup one-day tournament to accommodate coverage of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).
The semi-final between HBL and SNGPL on Wednesday was forced to start an hour earlier after the broadcaster’s directive to accommodate live coverage of the IPL match that was due to start later in the afternoon.
The rescheduling changed the face of the semi-final as the coin toss proved crucial. The match, which was tipped to be a contest between two evenly-matched sides, was dominated by SNGPL after they chose to field first.
Several players and officials from both sides criticised the decision and lamented that the PCB undermined a national event for IPL.
Mani termed the players’ grievance fair.
“It’s the time to promote domestic cricket and not to undermine it,” Mani told The Express Tribune. “It’s very embarrassing for players especially for budding cricketers. The PCB is responsible for safeguarding and promoting domestic cricket because we’re not hosting any international events at the moment.”
Mani added the board cannot be run fairly under the current set-up.
“The problem lies at the very basic level. The process of hiring the chairman is flawed. There is no accountability of a chairman because he is handpicked by the country’s president. We will continue to face such embarrassments and mismanagements until we develop things in order.”
Action against Ghauri ‘appropriate’
Meanwhile, Mani backed the decision of a four-year ban on international umpire Nadeem Ghauri.
The PCB imposed the ban on Ghauri and another domestic umpire Anis Siddiqui after a sting operation by India TV found them willing to make favourable decisions.
“Ghauri is an experienced umpire and was in the ICC panel when I was the president. His excuse that he has been punished for a crime he has not committed is unacceptable.
“The approach was clear in the conversation and an umpire with his experience and status should have reported it to the relevant officials straightaway. If I was the authority, I would have banned him for life.
“We need to send a strong message to the outside world that we have absolutely no tolerance for corruption.”
Mani also suggested the board to monitor the players and officials closely in domestic tournaments amid reports of foul-play during the ongoing season.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2013.
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