LAHORE, Nov 2: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided in principle to curtail the tours of the officials as their austerity drive in the backdrop of recent financial setbacks. The decision was taken at a three-day meeting which concluded Friday and was presided over by PCB chairman Lt Gen Tauqir Zia.

PCB director Brig Munawar Ahmad Rana told Dawn that the expenditures would be curtailed by reducing the numbers of tours of the officials and other office expenses.

But he dismissed impressions that the staff would be shortlisted. The PCB secretariat currently displays the look of an employment exchange and more than three dozen highly paid officials are working at the Gaddafi Stadium.

Unfortunately, despite expensive hirings, the proficiency of the board has failed to improve as the establishment is engulfed in controversies almost every second week.

Needless to say that previous establishments worked with only a handful of people and appeared more professional. In fact, until the early 90s, Ghulam Mustafa Khan was the only paid official while the rest worked on honorarium.

The PCB director claimed that the financial situation of the board was in control and these steps were being taken to avert any bad situation in future.

The PCB has been denied to earn revenues estimated to be worth $30 million as a result of the cancellation of two Indian and New Zealand visits.

The first follow-up of the decision was that no PCB official visited Sharjah despite having wasted no previous opportunities to tour the desert city as official guests.

In a press release, issued later in the day, the chairman was given a complete update on the development works which are in progress at 20 stadia.

While the PCB has decided to create six stadia in Karachi, only one has been identified from Lahore. And the ground is LCCA which has been sharing bulk of the domestic competition matches.

The chairman of the National Umpiring Council Mahboob Shah informed the chairman on the progress made by his council in various projects and its future programme to upgrade the umpiring standards.

An annual review of the PCB organisation was carried out with the senior management team and manpower recruitments based on a years trials and experience.

Various proposals were considered for improving the working of the board by further computerisation of the office working.

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