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Cricket chaos

April 19, 2019

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IN keeping with its age-old tradition of shooting itself in the foot while taking key decisions, the Pakistan Cricket Board has yet again botched up matters by getting into a rumpus with its own Board of Governors. However, the ugly falling-out that transpired in Quetta on Wednesday at the BoG meeting was pretty much on the cards after the PCB’s top brass had put out feelers last week about giving absolute powers to the newly-appointed managing director, Wasim Khan. Such a move would make the BoG virtually redundant. The second proposal — to ridiculously revamp the domestic cricket structure by abolishing the departmental and regional teams and usher in a hitherto untried provincial system — was also bound to create considerable ill will.

The PCB should have opted to debate the proposals in the Quetta meeting rather than impose them on the BoG members. Moreover, the row should not have come into the public gaze; only decisions reached with consensus needed to be announced. Among the golden rules of corporate success is to maintain confidentiality about such differences and handle them discreetly. Alas, the PCB remains completely oblivious to this. The most unfortunate aspect of the nasty row is its timing since it coincides with the all-important announcement of Pakistan’s World Cup squad. At a time when the game’s apex body needed to ensure a trouble-free scenario for the national selectors to be working cohesively to name the best possible outfit for the mega event in England, commencing May 30, there is utter mayhem in the ranks. The entire episode has shown PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani and his aides in a bad light — not just as administrators, but as people lacking the required level of expertise about cricket. Once run by experts and lovers of the sport, the PCB has become a motley body of vested interests that do not necessarily seem to strive for the game’s benefit. That needs to change quickly if Pakistan is to do well at the upcoming World Cup.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2019