‘Model constitution for clubs aimed at strengthening grassroots cricket’

Updated 30 Jun 2020

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“The role of NHPC will be to train to the coaches before they are engaged by clubs,” said Nadeem.
“The role of NHPC will be to train to the coaches before they are engaged by clubs,” said Nadeem.

KARACHI: While giving an insight into modules of the new Model Constitution for Cricket Clubs and Club Affiliation/Operation Rules, National High Performance Centre’s director Nadeem Khan made it clear on Monday that only functional clubs would be granted voting rights.

Addressing a virtual media conference from Lahore, Nadeem said the upcoming model — which was approved by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s Board of Governors last Friday — is the gateway for the country’s future cricketing stars.

“Our primary objective is to fortify the base, which is the grassroots level, of our domestic cricket to build a strong foundation so that players are developed in a professional environment,” Nadeem, a former slow left-armer who played two Tests and as many One-day Internationals in the 1990s, said.

“I view club cricket as one of the key ingredients and want to make it a viable source of [players’] supply. Hence, our basic task is to make club cricket as manageable as possible for the stakeholders involved. Here I wanted to give clarity over certain queries.”

Nadeem, who is the elder brother of ex-Pakistan captain and chief selector/team manager Moin Khan, claimed it is imperative that unless concrete steps are in place it would be very difficult to achieve the desired objectives.

“That’s why there are three categories of club system that we’ll make operational, hopefully by December if not earlier. The global scenario is critical because of the novel coronavirus [Covid-19] and we’ve to take stock of the prevailing situation,” he explained.

“We are introducing a limited period for the running of a particular club. Whoever wants to run the club, will do so for a two-year tenure and will be replaced by another member for the next term and so forth.

“I know from experience of playing extensively at the club level the problems when someone keeps on running the club for a very long period. There are times when some players have certain issues that official [who is there for ages].

Nadeem continued, “A club will only be allowed to have voting rights, provided it is operating as per the rules mentioned in the constitution. Level I coach will be hired by each club team. We are preparing a framework for the coaches to bring a culture of uniformity at all tiers and integrate this into the system.

“This process [of coaching] will inevitably benefit many former cricketers who have become coaches since not only jobs will be created within the model structure but also help in maintaining same type [of system] across the length and breadth of Pakistan,” he added.

“The role of NHPC will be to train to the coaches before they are engaged by clubs.”

Nadeem — who confirmed that a total of 161 clubs are registered with the PCB at present — stressed the new model will eliminate bogus clubs through the incoming system of Affiliate Member, Associate Member and Full Member. These are the three categories under which clubs will be recognised and affiliated by the respective city association.

“I have a firm belief that such dubious clubs would automatically get phased out because only those will be recognised who play and organise regular matches. There are no restrictions to stop a particular club from competing as long as it is meeting the attached requisites such as having a Level I coach,” the 50-year-old Nadeem emphasised.

“Some people have raised objections over the financial health of a club side. Well, it would be up to the club to seek sponsors to generate enough money to run the team. Other than this, there is no bar whatsoever. We know there are many clubs who don’t have their own grounds; usually several clubs share the same ground for training and playing purposes — I’ve been a witness to this shortcoming when I was playing club cricket in Karachi,” Nadeem underlined.

“Another aspect of generating funds if a club also has an academy side-by-side. The professional coach can help the club make money. Moreover, there are other ways of making money, depending on the acumen of the club owner[s].”

Commenting on the salary structure for the domestic competitions, Nadeem said there are related issues which have been addressed.

“The [salary] slabs are different this time as compared to the last season when all players were paid the same salary package. Comparatively, players in ‘B’ category of the central contract will get less. But having said that I’ll clarify that they’ll be compensated through match fees,” he said.

“Next season there will be more games because we are planning to stage the National T20 competition on double league. The reason behind this theory is that some players don’t get ample opportunities [to showcase their worth] during the tournament and miss out selection at the top level,” Nadeem concluded.

Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2020