KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board’s revamped cricket committee wants a tournament for departments in the next domestic season.
“The committee, headed by former Test spinner Iqbal Qasim, in its first meeting held here on Thursday, recommended the Pakistan Cricket Board should explore a window in the 2020-21 domestic cricket to slot in a tournament for the departments,” a PCB press release said.
Director domestic cricket operations Haroon Rashid — who, along with Pakistan head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq, attended the meeting on special invitations — was requested by the committee to look into the potential window in the next season and update the cricket committee at the next meeting, which is expected in April.
Moreover, Haroon briefed the committee about other learnings in 12 tournaments, comprising 190 matches which the PCB staged during the ongoing season.
The committee, while admitting the quality of cricket this season had vastly improved, requested that updates on the areas for improvement be provided at the next meeting.
The PCB, in a complete overhaul of the domestic cricket system last year, ended the involvement of departments and introduced a novel structure featuring six provincial association teams competing across all formats.
PCB’s move of restructuring domestic system received criticism from the country’s cricketing fraternity along with the departments themselves after a number of cricketers are said to have lost their jobs following the revamp.
The cricket committee meeting was attended by members Wasim Akram, Umar Gul, Urooj Mumtaz and Ali Naqvi. PCB chief executive Wasim Khan and director international cricket Zakir Khan attended as co-opted members.
The committee also asked for more clarity around the selection process of the national side after Misbah appraised them on his selection policies, performance of the team and forward planning.
The former Pakistan skipper informed the committee that he had developed a nucleus of players, particularly for Twenty20. Misbah also said he is expecting the ongoing Pakistan Super League edition will give a final shape to his pool of players for the Asia Cup and the ICC T20 World Cup, set to be held in September and October this year, respectively.
In his brief to the committee, Wasim Khan said that a more thorough, fit-for-purpose and revised No Objection Certificate (NOC) policy for players had been developed.
The committee supported the revised NOC policy, while requesting that the PCB to fully and strictly follow it to ensure Pakistan’s elite cricketers continue to give precedence to domestic tournaments above all else.
The improvement of the quality of coaching domestically and the progress of women’s cricket in Pakistan were other agendas discussed in the meeting.
Urooj, who heads the PCB women’s wing and is the chair of national women’s selection committee, provided an overview and update on the progress women’s cricket has made during the past 12 months.
She also briefed the committee on the ICC’s decision to introduce the Women’s U-19 World Cup.
Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2020