KARACHI: In a significant development, three senior figures of Pakistan cricket are seeking an appointment with Prime Minister Imran Khan — who is also the patron in chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) — to convince him about the role of departments in domestic cricket, it was learnt here.

A source privy to the development told this correspondent on Monday that head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq, senior all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez and Test skipper Azhar Ali have sought a meeting with the PM over the key issue that has been debated in the cricketing circles across the country for more than a year now.

According to the source, the experienced trio would advocate for the revival of departmental cricket in Pakistan’s domestic cricket and would brief the prime minister, himself a cricketing great, about the state of cricketers after the abolishment of the departmental teams.

The PCB last year amended its constitution to abolish the role of departmental outfits from domestic cricket as well as minus the presence of departments’ representatives on the Board of Governors.

Hafeez has been a staunch supporter of the role of departmental cricket and very recently let go of his monthly domestic central contract as well.

Misbah, too, during the recent press conference sounded worried about players who lost their jobs in the wake of the revamped Pakistan cricket structure. As for Azhar, he too has had a long association with both Misbah and Hafeez in their first-class outfit SNGPL which used to be one of the top departments.

Under the amended constitution, six regional teams — Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkha, Northern, Central Punjab and Southern Punjab — took part in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, country’s premier first-class event and the same practice would be followed this year as well.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2020


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