FORMER national captain Moin Khan posed serious questions to the custodians of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) when he said on Thursday if appropriate measures are not taken for the proper organisation of the competition, it may become a case of love, labour lost.
Moin, head coach of twice PSL runners-up Quetta Gladiators, urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB to pay serious attention to a number of issues that have had marred the tournament, one away or the other.
“For example, I say categorically that it seems a practice of double standards is being followed in treatment of players. All of us are baffled as to how come Sunil Narine is allowed to get away with unfair means and those who are responsible for assessing the [bowling] actions have not dared to declare his action illegible,” asked Moin while talking to Dawn a few hours before the start of Quetta’s final league-round fixture against leaders Islamabad United at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
“Being a former [Pakistan] captain as well as a layman, I’m entitled to question the authorities that when [Mohammad] Hafeez is not allowed to bowl [by the ICC] and the world cricketing body had also earlier banned Saeed Ajmal, then how come Narine is given the freedom to bowl and use tactics which are against the spirit of cricket. And if these are not dual standards, what really are?” he argued.
“Collectively we have to work on this sensitive issue because the prestige of the PSL has to be guarded and strengthened to a level of respectability. The true value of our league will be achieved when we make it a world-standard competition,” he said.
“Furthermore, I must insist that the PCB should not sign players who are not willing to tour Pakistan for any reason whatsoever. I think being Pakistanis, all of us take lot of pride in the PSL and none of us, I can vouch, has any personal motive,” said Moin.
“The cricket enthusiasts certainly deserve to see the world’s top players playing and performing in our own country. And if players are not comfortable at playing in Pakistan, they shouldn’t be included in the player-draft in the first place.
“Preference should be given to those who are willing to play in Pakistan.”
The former wicket-keeper/batsman also came down hard at the substandard umpiring standards in the ongoing tournament, while requesting the authorities to take measures to improve the general standard.
“I feel quite upset when we note the umpiring isn’t up to the standard the PSL should have. There have been number of blunders that had changed the results of some matches which is very, very unfortunate and the PCB should rectify the problems the teams have to face,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Quetta team manager Azam Khan disclosed that apart from Kevin Pietersen no other overseas players have indicated anything as regards to travelling to Pakistan.
“As far as we know at this stage, the overseas players in our squad, apart from KP [Pietersen] of course, have spoken to the team management on this issue. Our team owner Nadeem Omar, Moin and [Quetta captain] Sarfraz [Ahmed] will be contacting them one by one after the Islamabad United game to know where they stand,” Azam said.
Published in Dawn, March 16th, 2018