ISLAMABAD: The new domestic cricket model and Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) recent deal with PTV are game changers for country’s cricket and will help produce world’s best cricketers in the years to come.

This was stated by Chief Executive PCB Wasim Khan. during his conversation with Dawn here in Islamabad. Wasim spoke about domestic and international cricket, particularly about expected tours of the world’s four best teams in next two years.

He said that Pakistan is all set to host Zimbabwe in November this year and during the next two years, New Zealand ( in September 2021), South Africa and some other top teams of the world are expected to tour Pakistan.

Talking about the recent broadcasting deal between PCB and PTV, he said PCB expects to earn US$200 million over the next three years which will be spent on promotion of cricket. He added that Pakistan is blessed with best raw talents which needed platforms to excel. “Under new domestic system, young talent will participate in high-level of competitions with reduced numbers of teams and high standards of game to hone their skills properly.”

Wasim further said that from the upcoming domestic session, Pakistani cricket fans will see domestic players in action on their tv screen and television coverage of domestic events will also be a big boost for young players.

He added that under the broadcasting deal with PTV, all matches of upcoming National T20 would be shown live by national broadcaster while Quaid-i-Azam Trophy- the country’s prestigious first class event, would be covered live and highlights will also be shown.

“There are 31 matches of Quaid-i-Azam Trophy and we will ensure at least one match of each team should be broadcasted live,” the PCB CEO said.

Asked about the growing concerns of cricketers over abolishment of departments cricket, Wasim said: “Frankly speaking the PCB is not a job-providing organisation. Rather our main function is to take steps to promote cricket in the country to make a strong team at national level,” he said and added that currently Pakistan is ranked 7th in the world that shows that the old system failed in producing good players who could help the country to win mega international events.

He said that for making Pakistan one of the great teams in world, changes in domestic system were imperative. “As far as job are concerned, we are going to set-up 90 cricket association under the already established six regions that means over 90 coaches and managers will be required. So the players, who faced job issues could be accommodated in associations,” he said. “ These two initiatives — the new domestic system and the deal with PTV to promote domestic cricket are game changers, I tell you,” he said.

Talking about PCB’s last two-year performance, he said: “Relocating the entire PSL here and bringing international cricket back to Pakistan are among the major achievements of the current management. Efforts are also underway to improve quality of cricket through High Performance Centre and through revamped domestic structure,” he said and added that the PCB has already engaged country’s legendary cricketers to help it make Pakistan one of the best teams.

“Currently, a number of retired cricketers are associated with the PCB and they are playing very good role to improve skills of young players,” he said.

Asked about the recent meeting of head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, senior all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez and Test captain Azhar Ali with Prime Minister Imran Khan, reportedly without PCB’s permission, Wasim said: “They [players] have been asked to explain their position to PCB chairman Ehsan Mani. A meeting is going to be held in coming days in this regard,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2020