Expectedly, Shahryar Khan has taken over as the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after a unanimous election to the post through the support of the Board of Governors.
The 80-year-old veteran diplomat is now saddled in his second stint at the helm of the governing body of the game in the country.
Mr Khan who first served as chairman in a three-year stint that started in 2003 has already declared that he wants to bring stability to the board.
While consistency in Board’s leadership is surely welcomed, Mr Khan’s indication of sticking out with Misbahul Haq as captain all the way to the World Cup next year has got tongues wagging.
Pakistan was rolled over quite comfortably by Sri Lanka in the two Test match series that ended on Monday.
A first-ever whitewash against the spirited Asians, it seems, has failed to ring alarm bells. Misbah, who did a stellar job with the national team after taking over as captain in 2010 all the way till the England Test series whitewash in the UAE in 2012, has become stagnant and rigid in his game plan.
The 40-year-old failed to inspire his team with the bat in Sri Lanka too — a trait that had been a constant since 2010.
In his first press conference after taking over, Mr Khan termed the Sri Lankan result an aberration, but the fact remains that Pakistan has not won a single Test series since the England win. The national team’s poor run in the longest format is poignantly reflected by their sixth ranking.
Off-field, too, Mr Khan would have to play his diplomatic card astutely and ensure that the Indian cricket board fulfils its promise of playing a financially lucrative bilateral series with Pakistan next year.
The PCB’s management is heavily relying on Mr Khan’s track record of successfully arranging two tours of India during his earlier stint (2004 and 2006). But with the ongoing political turmoil it is a little early to predict what the future holds for Indo-Pak cricket and a lot will depend on how the new chief steers the PCB ship.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2014.
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