PCB’s coming of age

Published June 20, 2016

The new dispensation at the Pakistan Cricket Board has made swift moves to show it means business.

For too long, the PCB had been claiming that it was the best administrative set-up in sport because it was the biggest and the richest.

Instead, what we saw was the downward spiral of the national cricket team over the years.

But now, in a rare show of maturity, the cricket board has embarked on a series of measures that could give a much-needed boost to the sagging fortunes of the game in Pakistan.

The most important measure is, of course, the PCB’s welcome break from the dominant lobbies that for long had influenced its workings.

The quarters that for over a decade manoeuvred appointments of the coach and captain, team selection, tour schedules, players’ conduct, etc have finally been dispensed with, and the improvement is evident.

Young Sarfraz Ahmed’s induction as T20 skipper in place of a spent Shahid Afridi, the appointment of Inzamam-ul-Haq and his selection panel, the hiring of the seasoned coach Mickey Arthur and the revamping of the cricket committee are moves that have instilled confidence in the players.

This year is perhaps the most challenging one for the Pakistan cricket team.

Starting with the tough England series next month, the national team will be undertaking back-to-back tours of New Zealand and Australia with a short series against the West Indies sandwiched in between.

In such a scenario, it is important that things start to gel for the team.

The PCB has worked in that direction by removing erratic elements such as opener Ahmed Shehzad and middle-order batsman Umar Akmal and also by arranging a fitness camp at the Kakul Academy for the players.

On Friday, the PCB capped its revival campaign by signing a logo deal with the Edhi Foundation which, coupled with skipper Misbah-ul-Haq’s and senior pro Younis Khan’s resolve to lead the team from the front, should more than restore the fans’ faith in the game.

Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2016

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