LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the First Boards of the six Cricket Associations (CAs) met here at the National High Performance Centre (NHPC) on Tuesday to review the progress made in the past few months while looking ahead to the objectives for the upcoming season.

“The PCB appreciated the efforts of the six Cricket Associations and acknowledged the challenges faced by the CA officials, while assuring complete support in the delivery of their responsibilities and obligations,” the PCB stated in a press release issued after the meeting.

“One of the high points of the meeting was the identification, development and involvement of skilled personnel, particularly around the coaching side. It was observed that only the best trained and qualified coaches will support the six Cricket Associations in their endeavours in spotting and promoting quality talent to the next level.

“In this regard, Grant Bradburn, Head of High Performance Coaching, provided a detailed briefing on the extensive work being done at the NHPC in relation to the player and coach development. The officials were assured the best available coaches had been appointed at the city cricket association level, who were successfully transferring their knowledge and experience in the ongoing two-day inter-city tournament,” the press release added.

“The Cricket Associations also shared their plans around grassroots cricket, which is likely to resume with clubs, schools, college and university cricket later in the year. The officials also provided an update on their plans of setting up training and practice facilities, including developing or managing new infrastructures and stadia.

The release added, “The PCB updated the Cricket Association officials on the club registration and scrutiny process. The Cricket Association officials were informed that over 4,000 clubs have applied for registration through an online process and the next phase of the process will commence in due course.”

Meanwhile, the PCB has confirmed sponsors of the Sindh, Central Punjab and Southern Punjab Cricket Associations.

“AQ Builders Pvt Ltd will have the principal sponsorship rights for Sindh, while Central Punjab will have Prime Oil and Ghee Mills as their principal sponsors also for a three-year period. Grassroots Cricket will sponsor the Southern Punjab Cricket Association,” the PCB press release stated.

The remaining three CAs could not get the sponsors and the PCB will rebid for those associations including Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Northern.

“For Sindh and Central Punjab, the three-year sponsorship term will commence from the 2021-22 season, while Southern Punjab’s sponsorship agreement will expire at the end of 2022-23 season,” it added.

Dawn learnt that the CAs had chalked out plans to hold the competitions at varsities, colleges, clubs, schools and community levels from September. Moreover, Central Punjab and KP cricket associations will set up the High Performance Centres in Lahore, Sialkot and Peshawer in collaboration with their respective governments.

Balochistan Cricket Association has set the target of fielding the teams of all the districts in the next five years. It has claimed that 48 per cent district of the province had fielded the teams.

Moreover, the PCB also informed the heads of the CAs that it would allowed them to attend the BoGs meetings as observers on alternate basis -- three chairmen will attend the coming meeting and remaining three the next.

Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2021

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