LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has spent a very meagre amount on the (now defunct) regional cricket associations as compared to what it has received from the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the development and what it is paying in salaries to its top office bearers in the Board.

This was stated on Wednesday by member of the PCB Board of Governors, Nouman Butt, who has been sacked for raising voice against PCB chairman Ehsan Mani’s policies and is now fighting a legal case in the Lahore High Court against his ouster.

Referring to a press release in which the PCB claims it has spent PKR 317,350,620 on the regional cricket development through (now defunct) regional cricket associations, Nouman said: “This is some kind of a joke. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) press release states that it has spent Rs 317.2 million on Regions (RCAs) for 4-5 years under the heads of office staff (2014-2019) — PKR 34,780,911, Ground staff (2014-2019) — PKR221,546,514,

Equipment/maintenance (2015-2019) — PKR36,264,019, Office running expenses (2015-2019) — PKR 24,760,076 (Total cost — PKR317,350,620).

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“A careful stats-analysis of this figure demonstrated that PCB spent only Rs 52,89,177/- per month (Rs. 5.3 million) or Rs 6,34,70,129/- per annum (Rs. 63.47 million) on the development and uplifting of cricket in entire Pakistan through elected RCAs.

“This amount/cost is peanuts when compared to two basic parameters/things: How much did PCB annually received from ICC for cricket development? It received $13 million or Rs 1.7515 billion from ICC this year. And how much did it spend on salaries and perks and privileges of its five senior officials alone (Rs 11.6 million per month or Rs. 139.2 million per annum on its CEO Wasim Khan (Rs 3 million per month), Chief Selector-cum-head coach Misbah-ul Haq (Rs 3.5million per month), CFO Badar Manzoor Khan (Rs 1.8million per month), Director Media Sami-ul-Hassan Burney (Rs 1.5 million per month), Bowling Coach Waqar Younis (Rs 1.8 million per month),” Nouman pointed out.

“If calculated on the basis of present volume of their salaries etc - spread over five years - the total cost or payment to them would reach to Rs.696 million or Rs 69.6 crore for five years. This 69.6 crore expenditure in the shape of salaries, perks and privileges to just these five senior PCB officials is double the amount PCB incurred on entire Pakistan cricket development (16 RCAs) during the same period of five years,” he argued.

“Now coming to another comparison as to how much PCB invest in cricket development across Pakistan on its associations is that it received Rs 1.75 billion in one year from ICC for cricket development but incurred Rs. 63.47 million per annum on RCAs relating to matters mentioned in PCB press release.

“Primarily, it is the main reason and extremely faulty strategy of the PCB which cost our cricket development dearly every year,” insisted Nouman. “By viewing it, one can easily make a firm assessment with regard to declining cricket standard in Pakistan because of meagre spending on cricket development and huge, huge spending on salaries, perks and privileges of top PCB officials, now proving white elephants eating up Pakistan cricket without any mercy.

“A rational approach with a pardigm shift is need of the hour to put PCB house in order forthwith, making an end to doling out favours to their incompetent, inefficient and unprofessional touts and blue-eyed officials at the cost of this brilliant game called cricket,” concluded Nouman.

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2019