LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has called for a crucial meeting of its Board of Governors scheduled for July 6, marking its first gathering in Lahore in nearly four months.

The foremost agenda item pertains to the approval of the financial budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, necessitated by the expiration of the previous budget on June 30, a procedural norm observed diligently.

Notably absent from the agenda is any discussion regarding the recent lacklustre performance of the national cricket team in the recently-concluded T20 World Cup, as well as its showings in the recent series against New Zealand, Ireland, and England.

Sources within the PCB disclosed to Dawn on Tuesday that while the agenda is singularly focused on budget approval, any member of the Board of Governors retains the option to raise additional matters, including team performance concerns during the meeting.

Pakistan’s disappointing campaign in the T20 World Cup, where the team failed to advance past the group stage despite decisions and preparations predominantly overseen by the PCB management, has raised eyebrows.

Surprisingly, no formal grievances have been lodged by the BoG members regarding alleged oversight in major decisions such as the formation of a seven-member selection committee, the reinstatement of Babar Azam as captain replacing Shaheen Shah Afridi, or the appointment of head coach Gary Kirsten shortly before the World Cup commenced.

To date, the PCB management has not initiated a comprehensive review of the team’s performances, although expectations were high for such an evaluation to commence during the upcoming BoG meeting.

However, the omission of any such agenda item strongly suggests a reluctance within the PCB to engage in a public discourse on the matter.

Insiders revealed that behind closed doors, a preliminary review process has indeed commenced, albeit without any sense of urgency. The focus appears to be shifting towards the upcoming red-ball series at home against Bangladesh in August, followed by one against England in October-November, steering attention away from immediate scrutiny.

PCB sources indicated that decisions regarding the future direction of the national team, particularly in light of its performance at the T20 World Cup, will be taken following a meticulous assessment.

This assessment is set to consider Pakistan’s preparation for upcoming events including next year’s ICC Champions Trophy and the 2026 T20 World Cup.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2024

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