Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan said on Friday that Ahmed Shehzad will face disciplinary action for his religious comments to Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Shaharyar, who remained calm throughout a fiery press conference at the National Stadium Karachi despite some personal questions, condemned the batsman’s remarks.
Shehzad had been heard saying to Dilshan that “if you are a non-Muslim and you turn Muslim, no matter whatever you do in your life, straight to heaven.”
The PCB chairman explained that Shehzad has breached the central contract and its code of conduct.
“It is clearly written in the contract that you are not allowed to make any political or religious comments to others or action may be taken against you,” said Shahryar.
Shehzad had emerged as a strong candidate for the vacant T20 captaincy spot and when asked whether the PCB had made any decisions regarding the post or not, Shaharyar said that so far, he had only discussed the matter with the concerned persons.
‘Crisis management key aspect for selection’
The PCB chairman emphasised that besides focusing on talent, a player’s ability to effectively manage a crisis would play a key role in selection.
“We need to induct players who are good at crisis management and perform when things are going wrong, such as Fawad Alam,” said Shaharyar. “Currently, only three to four players possess this ability.”
While commenting on nepotism in the selection process, Shaharyar suggested the main problem lay at the district and regional levels, an issue which needed to be addressed quickly in order to improve the quality of cricket.
Meanwhile, the chief admitted that the board had failed to produce a solid domestic structure over the years and that the current set up needed some fine-tuning as well. He said changes would be made soon.
‘Downsizing in PCB will continue’
The 80-year-old official stressed that downsizing in the PCB will continue in order to improve the financial status of the body.
“Everyone who is redundant will make way, but that will be decided after an independent report,” he said.
“Previously, people were fired after reports from their departmental heads, which isn’t the right way because a manager’s bias may play a role. The lower staff will not be the only ones to be targeted.”
He further stated that the Pakistan Super League will be launched at a more appropriate time while efforts will continue towards reviving international cricket in the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2014.