LAHORE: The first round of talks over restructuring departmental cricket has yielded little apart from the framework being approved.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Board of Governors met on Tuesday but after a seven-hour discussion it is evident that there is still a long way to go before the domestic game is overhauled.
The PCB has formed a taskforce to overhaul domestic cricket by replacing departments with regions as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan’s former Test captain. There has been a proposal to reduce the current 16 first-class teams to eight regions with departments like National Bank, State Bank, Wapda and some others to sponsors them.
There are reports though that the BoG members raised serious concerns over the new system as it would render a number of cricketers being sacked. Moreover, the departments want greater role as sponsors to which regional bodies aren’t ready.
“The task force’s report on domestic cricket structure was also discussed at length,” a PCB news release said. “The BoG has approved the conceptual framework recommended by the task force in which both the departments and regions will continue to have an important role.
“It was reiterated that the interest of all stakeholders, especially the players, will be safeguarded. The task force has been advised to work on the details of the structure based on constitutional and financial parameters.”
The meeting was held at the National Cricket Academy under the chairmanship of Ehsan Mani. The BoG members from Sialkot and Quetta did not attend the meeting.
“PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani, presented his report, which dealt with restructuring of the PCB in a bid to professionalise the organisation,” the news release added. “The BoG was also updated on the new appointments being made, including Managing Director PCB, Director Media and Communication, Chief Strategy Implementation Officer and Project Consultant (Marketing).
“The BoG, after deliberations, also approved the budget for HBL PSL 2019. The BoG was also updated on the arrangements about the upcoming HBL PSL and the progress of the sales of HBL PSL commercial rights.
“The Audit and Cricket Committee reports were also presented, while the BoG was given a comprehensive briefing on the outcome of the PCB-BCCI dispute.
“The BoG was informed that the Independent Disputes Resolution Committee’s decision on the legal costs of the dispute was expected to be announced by ICC on Wednesday and the PCB was confident that the costs liability against it would be substantially less than what has recently been reported in a section of the media.
“Meanwhile, the BOG has approved a 20 per cent increase in the payment to former cricketers under the Players’ Welfare Policy 2015.”
Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2018