LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), while forming a seven-member advisory cricket committee on Friday comprising former cricketers, termed the Justice Qayyum Report on match-fixing as an ‘inconclusive’ document.
The committee comprises ex-Test batsman Mohsin Khan who will head the body, former captains Wasim Akram and Misbah-ul-Haq, Director Academies Mudassar Nazar, Director Domestic Cricket Haroon Rasheed and Director International Zakir Khan besides former Pakistan women’s team captain Urooj Mumtaz.
Zakir, who is also a close friend of Prime Minister Imran Khan and has returned to the PCB ranks with the induction of the new government, will act as secretary of the committee.
PCB chairman Ehsan Mani, flanked by the committee members, addressed a press conference along with COO Subhan Ahmed to give the details about the working of the body. However, when asked how the committee was featuring player (s) named in Justice Qayyum Report on Match-fixing (an obvious reference to Wasim), Mani said: “How many people have read the Justice Qayum Report? It is inconclusive as the Justice himself has said that he will give details in another report which has not come out as yet.
Justice Qayyum Report inconclusive: Mani
“From the list of players mentioned in that report, some have already performed coaching and other key jobs with other cricketing nations too. Those nations obviously must have hired them after thoroughly reading the Qayyum report,” the PCB chief observed.
Mohsin, as head of the committee, was also grilled by journalists on the occasion about his earlier stance on tainted players and how did he agree to work with Wasim in the committee. Mohsin replied: “Yes my stance for the last four and half years has been the same against the tainted players, but today the chairman convinced me that the report of Justice Qayyum is inconclusive. So I am satisfied now and have consented to accept the job.”
To another question, Mani said: “The members of this committee will only claim allowances and no regular pay is fixed for them.”
Meanwhile, elaborating on the job description of the cricket committee, Subhan said: “The committee will continue to work until the PCB wants it and there is no specific period for it. The selection committee will, however, continue to work independently and the cricket committee will overview the performance to guide the PCB chairman.”
When reminded that both Wasim and Misbah were also associated with different teams in the Pakistan Super League which could be a case of conflict of interest, Subhan said apparently there was no conflict of interest as the committee was only supposed to guide the PCB chairman on cricketing matters. He, however, added that if the PCB will notice any conflict of interest, it will take a decision accordingly.
Interestingly, the committee does not have fair representation of all the four provinces since three members are from Karachi, one is from Mianwali and one from Faisalabad. No member from KP has been included neither from Balochistan not from capital Islamabad.
According to the details obtained about the allowances of the committee members, each one of them will get Rs50,000 per meeting regardless of the number of days it lasts. Beides, a daily allowance of Rs5,000 will also be paid to the members as well as five-star accommodation, air travel expenses and transport allowance.
The former opener further said that the cricket committee’s recommendation would be taken seriously as big names were featuring in it. He vowed that all the recommendations would be made purely on merit and there would be no favoritism. “If we will do anything wrong media has the full right to point out our mistakes,” he stated.
According to the ToRs, the committee could oversee the appointment of selection committee as well as the appointment of national team coaches. It will also be holding meetings with chief selectors and coaches of men, women and junior teams three times a year.
“This committee will be the check on the coaches and selectors while the PCB chairman will be the check on this committee. So everyone will remain under check which is necessary,” said Mohsin.
Mohsin went on to add that he has always worked with the PCB for its betterment and in the national interest. “What I am today is just because of cricket and we have to give something back to the game,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Wasim Akram said he has always been sure about being ‘clean’ in his mind and all this talk about this PCB job being the clean chit for him is preposterous. “There has already been a clean chit in my mind and now 20 years have passed since we appeared before the Qayyum commission where the PCB lawyer questioned us. So yes, that was a tough time for me but that is all in the past. I have always been ready and willing to help the PCB in promoting cricket and that is why I am here today,” said Wasim.
“Many people have been asking me why I have not coached all these years. Now we have to be focused on quality and not quantity to improve our domestic structure and standard. We have good choices in Mohsin, Misbah and Urooj and from the PCB side Mudassar Nazar, Haroon and Zak are there,” he added.
When asked to comment on the rumours about PCB disassociating the departmental teams, Wasim said no such decision has been taken as yet and no discussion on the issue has been held. “We will cross the bridge when it comes,” he said.
To a question, he said no decision in haste would be taken as the national team is doing well at the international level.
Misbah, answering a question regarding the recent criticism on Sarfraz Ahmad’s captaincy, said it was unfair to do that on the basis of just one event, the Asia Cup. “Yes, Sarfraz is in the process of gaining the experience and is learning the ropes of captaincy. But the overall performance of the national team is quite satisfactory and I feel he was unfairly criticised over just the Asia Cup’s performance,” said Misbah.
Asked Sarfraz had blamed that his captaincy received more criticism from Lahore’s media, he said as national captain he should not say it. But the way he was criticized after the Asia Cup, he might have use these words.
Commenting on the committee’s aims, Misbah who is the most successful captain in Pakistan’s Test history, said the new body has a good opportunity to bring marked improvement in the domestic structure which needs a definite uplift.
“Since I am still playing I can directly point out the problems and suggest the solutions which can be implemented before the start of the next domestic season,” he observed.
Urooj said that it was an honour for her to be part of the committee and said lot of work had to be done to bring improvement in women’s cricket. She also hailed former Pakistan captain Sana Mir for attaining top position in the ICC One-day ranking.
Meanwhile, to a question, Mani admitted that he had indeed taken a U-turn in allowing the players to play in the T-10 league being held in the UAE in November-December this year. “When I tried to gather information about the T-10 league, not a single file was available in the PCB. So I don’t know what is the status of the league. We inquired in detail from the Emirates Cricket Board and the ICC and after getting favourable reports which gave me comfort, we have allowed the cricketers to play the league,” he stated.
Published in Dawn, October 27th , 2018
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