LAHORE: For the first time after the new federal government was formed, Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan, a leading MPA and former Punjab sports minister, has categorically said he does not see the future of Ramiz Raja in the Pakistan Cricket Board in the coming days.

Mashood in a brief media talk here on Wednesday also disclosed that the federal government had accepted the proposal to restore the sports departments in different public sector organisations, which had been eliminated during the previous government of prime minister Imran Khan.

“I believe that a man should show grace. They claim themselves to be ethically strong people; if it is so then ethics require when their government has gone they [too] should have left right with the government,” Mashood stated at the Sports Board Punjab offices.

“In the near future I am not seeing him [Ramiz at the PCB] and when the things settle down a new PCB chairman at all costs will come,” he emphasised.

The former minister, who is a key member of the ruling PML-N, which has the government at federal and provincial levels, also revealed good news for concerned sportspersons that the government had accepted the proposal to restore sports departments.

“These departments [for many years] had been catering to the needs of thousands of sportspersons across Pakistan. However, as no progress was made after the closure of these departments during the past four years [of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government], our proposal to restore the sports departments in the public sector organisations has been accepted,” Mashood remarked.

He added that many sportspersons who had lost jobs during the previous government were not able to continue playing sports due to age factor, adding the present government would set up a sports endowment fund to compensate for the financial losses these players suffered.

“The mechanism that [sports] departments follow to selecting talented athletes for their teams would continue in future,” Mashood said.

It may be mentioned here that during the Imran-led government, many sportspersons including cricketers became jobless as a result of the abolition of departmental cricket.

Cricket, being the most popular game in Pakistan, lost many players who represented different organisations prior to the closing down of sports departments. The same departments over decades produced world-class cricketers who went on to represent the country at the highest international level winning heaps of accolades.

Moreover, Railways, Wapda, SNGPL and some other organisations had been instructed to close down their sports departments too by April 31, 2022.

However, after a new federal government in place, the overall situation in the country’s sports sector is very likely to change.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2022

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