AFTER Pakistan were left exposed by a weaker Sri Lanka side in the recently held T20 International series , the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is yet to summon its Board of Governors (BoG) and Cricket Committee for any meeting to discuss the fiasco as the national team sets its sight on next month’s tour to Australia.
The shocking defeats at the hands of Islanders drew heavy criticism from the cricketing fraternity as well as from the media. Misbah along with captain Sarfraz Ahmed, however, failed to give convincing reasons for the unexpected failure. It was, indeed, felt by knowledgeable critics and ex-players that the alarming loss required a quick postmortem by the PCB in order to make amends before the tough Australia tour.
Pakistan play three T20s and two Tests against the Aussies in what is expected to be a huge challenge for the national team as well as the all-new team management led by head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq.
The BoG and the Cricket Committee are the two most important forums within the PCB to address key issues. However, it is surprising that the disastrous loss against Sri Lanka’s rather depleted outfit has not yet come under discussion or not deemed as serious enough a topic by the think-tank of the board.
It must also be pointed out here that PCB’s management has displayed a defensive mindset by choosing Faisalabad as the venue for the National T20 Cup. The Iqbal Stadium pitch has always known to be very slow and batting-friendly and considering the Australia tour, it does not seem to be the perfect venue for the preparation for the T20 series Down Under where playing surfaces are hard and bouncy.
As far as the Cricket Committee is concerned, apart from former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram, all its members are PCB employees which puts Cricket Committee’s credibility in question as it is supposed to make hard-hitting and honest suggestions to the board’s chairman.
Misbah himself was a member of the Committee and reportedly was the man behind the ouster of former Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur before replacing the South African official as the new head coach.
Sarfraz’s place as Pakistan captain is also under the spotlight. According to reports, the PCB has asked the wicket-keeper/batsman to step down from the position. It is also speculated that batsman Azhar Ali will be given the charge to lead the team in Tests while Babar Azam will be the Pakistan skipper in T20s.
Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2019