Cricket for all? Aspiring cricketers ask Imran to help put an end to nepotism in selection

Say they elected PTI for ‘change’ but have only faced favouritism.

Our Correspondent January 08, 2015
“There was euphoria in the air when Imran came to power; a ray of hope for us,” said Ahmad. “We don’t want our dreams shattered.” PHOTO: ONLINE

PESHAWAR: For some ‘change’ meant bright(er) city lights, for about 25 young men Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s catchphrase was supposed to mean transparency in cricket selection, under the auspices of former cricket legend Imran Khan.

They now want Imran to fix the problem of nepotism which they say they have personally faced in cricket in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. These youngsters have reportedly tried out for teams since the second half of 2013 and allege the reason none of them were selected for national or local teams is favouritism and a lack of transparency.

One of the 25, Ahmad Nawaz is a BA student at Government College Peshawar. He told The Express Tribune, “One year back, I was declared under age but now out of the blue I am told I am too old.”

Nawaz, who just turned 20, said in 2011 he was selected for an under-19 team but just a few days later, he was told his performance was not good enough. He says he was “never given a chance to play again”.

In 2009, Nawaz said, he was selected by former leg-spinner Arshad Khan and batsmen Wajahatullah Wasti during trials but was later ignored for the team.

“I was also selected for Quaid-e-Azam trophy [overseen by the Pakistan Cricket Board] and played two matches but was later asked to quit.”

According to the rejected aspiring sportsman, “Since the PTI came into power, we have knocked on the doors of every department but no one listens.” He said the youth had welcomed the PTI slogan of change, merit and good governance, but now everyone is witness to the fact that the party’s ministers and important office holders are no different from their predecessors.

“Imran Khan is honest and sincere but others around him cannot be trusted,” said Nawaz. He alleged advisers, ministers and other PTI stalwarts were involved in nepotism in filling government job vacancies.

Ahmad Khan, a 14-year-old cricket aspirant, said he was selected in the Imran Khan Talent Cricket Hunt held in 2013 in Peshawar, but was later rejected on the pretext that he was too young.

“I was rejected because I did not have high references,” said Ahmad.

After facing rejection, they called upon PTI Chairperson Imran Khan to come forward and address their grievances as they “sincerely desire change, which is only possible after corruption, nepotism and poor governance are brought to an end.”

“We work hard to maintain our fitness to get selected,” said Ahmad, “So we request the Chief for selection based on merit.”

The players said they made it through the trial stages for police, railways Wapda and State Bank cricket teams but were never actually selected.

As their entire focus remained on making it to cricket teams, the young men admitted they never gave much thought to their studies or to jobs.

“There was euphoria in the air when Imran came to power; a ray of hope for us,” said Ahmad. “We don’t want our dreams shattered.”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2015.



MAD | 6 years ago | Reply

My only comment here is that the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa team won the Pentengular tournament held few days ago. Their second major victory in a domestic tournament over last few months. I think no further comment is neccessary.

Ali Pakistani | 6 years ago | Reply

Imran Khan has always indulged in nepotism.He was the biggest supporter of Salman Butt the Liar.

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