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Departments reject ‘sponsor’ role in domestic cricket

Updated February 27, 2019

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Sources say departments suggest they would like to field their own teams.— Photo courtesy of PCB
Sources say departments suggest they would like to field their own teams.— Photo courtesy of PCB

LAHORE: Majority of the departments have opposed the new domestic plan under which the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) wants to confine the departments’ role to just sponsor the regions instead of fielding their own teams in the domestic cricket season, Dawn learnt on authority.

The PCB Task Force headed by retired Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain held the meeting with the representatives of the different departments at the Wapda House here on Tuesday to get their feedback on the newly proposed domestic system.

Sources said the departments rejected the idea of confining their role to just as a sponsor of the region and suggested they would even like to field their own teams, in the Grade-II if not possible to play in the Grade-I.

They were ready to accept if the PCB will only allow regional teams to play the first-class (Grade-I) tournaments, sources said.

The Task Force did not give any reply to the departmental’s suggestion.

Sources further said the Task Force has also failed to present its full plan, how it would manage the financial affairs under the new plan. The Task Force said that another strategic committee meeting would be held later under which different affairs including the financial one would also be finalised.

It may be mentioned here that the PCB, on the instruction of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has been a blunt supporter of the regional cricket, has been trying to introduce a new system but both the regions and departments don’t seem to be on board completely, fearing the total plan could be collapse if the PCB fails to come out with a comprehensive formula.

It is also learnt that one of the members of the Task Force, former Test cricketer Haroon-ur-Rasheed, who is also director PCB Domestic Cricket, was critical of the regional bodies representatives’ role in running the cricketing affairs in their respective regions.

The second meeting of the Task Force with the regional bodies has been rescheduled for Thursday instead of Wednesday.

The Task Force will also brief the regional representatives about the new proposed system to get their feed back too.

According to the briefing, a board/council for every region will be formed and it will have five members, two each from department and region while one independent. However, there is no detail who will appoint the independent director in the board/council.

Moreover, eight top departments, according to the briefing, will sponsor eight top regions for the first-class cricket, while remaining eight departments will sponsors low-graded region in the Grade-II cricket.

The departmental representatives were told that their current role in the domestic cricket is also not satisfactory.

According to the PCB Task Force, the departments only provide jobs to experienced and tested players and rely on them to win matches and tournaments.

Departmental players also represent regions in PCB tournaments, affecting progress of regional players. It also lack of players development programme during the off season, while majority of the departments do not own cricket grounds.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2019