LAHORE: Pakistan’s early ouster from the T20 World Cup has forced a rethink by the country’s cricket board with a high-level meeting on Sunday making decisions to improve the quality of domestic cricket.

In the first meeting called by Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Mohsin Naqvi since Pakistan crashed out in the first round of the World Cup in the United States and West Indies, it was decided that there will be zero compromise over the merit in the selection and a plan was approved for promoting the quality of domestic cricket.

The three-hour long meeting “focused on strengthening domestic cricket”, the PCB said in a news release, where it added Naqvi “gave principled approval to the plan aimed at promoting quality domestic cricket”.

“The chairman announced that various tournaments would be consistently organised from the club level to the national level. Chairman directed that promising players must be groomed professionally and stated that excellent coaches should train the new talent to enhance their skills. Performance, fitness, and merit will be the key criteria for advancing players.

“The participants also decided to improve the standard of coaching in the upcoming domestic cricket season and to review the domestic contracts. A master coach will be appointed to train domestic cricket coaches. It was also discussed that players must participate in domestic cricket tournaments to be considered for the national team selection.

“Furthermore, the selection criteria for the national team will be strictly based on performance and fitness showcased in the domestic events.

“A mutual agreement over zero compromise on merit, performance, and fitness was reached. The meeting decided to hold tournaments for all three formats of the game to promote quality domestic cricket in the 2024-25 season.

“The chairman also highlighted the need for urgent efforts to unearth new talent at the grassroots level. He reiterated that investment in new talent will promote cricket at the grassrootslevel and yield positive results.”

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2024

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