New Faces, But Same Old Story for Pakistan Cricket

Jawad HussainContributor IJanuary 9, 2009

New faces, but same old story in Pakistan cricket

Hamad Hussain

Pakistan Cricket Board showing a picture which really doesn't reflect the norms of any professional organisation. The 3-month performance of Chairman Ejaz Butt is not satisfactory as it has failed to put a full stop on controversies that have continued to spark again and again in the media.
It was feared when newly appointed Chairman Ejaz Butt took charge and decided to appoint ex-cricketers at key positions in the cricket board that these cricketers had differences in the past when they were playing for the national side and the history might repeat itself again.
There is no doubt about that fact that Ejaz Butt is a seasoned campaigner and has worked in almost every major capacity in PCB, like team manager, selector and also member of the governing board. People were expecting a lot from Butt when he took office of the PCB. But if we see the recent past statements of PCB officials, we come to know that there is no policy in practice in PCB and everyone is giving statement which contradicts the other official's remarks.
All former cricketers like Javed Miandad, Intikhab Alam, Abdul Qadir, Salim Altaf are giving statements with everyone has its own vision which obviously is poles apart from the other one's.
Aamir Sohail seems to be the only one who is not issuing any statement and focusing only on his job.
Ejaz Butt should take notice of this mismanagement and appoint seasoned campaigner as media manager who represent the board in front of the media.
The modalities of the contract relating to the appointment of Javed Miandad are still yet to be decided whereas there is also news in the media that some forces in PCB have started conspiracy against Miandad and have demanded his resignation.
Another controversy took media's attention when Waseem Bari issued notice to PCB's legal advisor Tafazzal Rizvi for making statements in the media where he had criticised the board for not providing him with the indiscipline proof against Shoaib Akhtar that he was to produce before the court. Tafazzal Rizvi hit back strongly on show-cause notice issued by PCB and said that he is not on the payroll of PCB and will take the matter to the court.
PCB is also facing criticism on the schedule of important domestic tournament Quaid-e-Azam Trophy where questions have been raised regarding poor quality of pitches, while most of the games have been affected by foggy weather, which shows poor schedule management by the concerned authorities. The ball that has been used in these domestic games has also come to the fore with huge problems. PCB has decided to use Pakistan-made ball for the domestic tournament instead of Kookaburra balls but players have reported on consistent basis about the poor quality of the ball.
The latest controversy is Central Contract of the year 2009 which is being offered to 26 players. The central contract has been criticised across the board and it seems that no one is happy with the way players have been evaluated and selected for the central contract. PCB officials failed to justify their decision in the electronic as well as print media as they had no rebuttal to define the parameters on which they evaluated the cricketers' performance.
The most surprising element is that the Director General Javed Miandad has not been contacted for his opinion while finalising central contracts. It's beyond logics that why and how a super-hero of Pakistan's cricket was ignored while taking such an important decision for the players.
If we take a look at the pool of players being selected for the central contracts, it is evident that many of them did not deserve to be there. Muhammad Hafeez, who has been included in the central contract, has not even represented the national side for almost a year and could only manage less than 200 runs in domestic cricket. Other players like Yasir Hameed, Faisal Iqbal and Danish Kaneria have not played a single ODI in last year and have been included in the central contract. Moreover, they have been accommodated in A and B categories, which raises a BIG QUESTION MARK. Inclusion of Abdul Rehman in the central contract is also debatable. Rao Iftikhar Anjum who is a regular member of the Pakistan side and has been performing well had to content with Category C.
PCB is being criticised for awarding Shoaib Akhtar central contract who always has injury scares as well as discipline problems throughout his career whereas no one is confident that how many matches he would be playing this year. Instead of giving him central contract, PCB should have treated Shoaib Akhtar as special case and paid him on match-to-match basis.
It is very disappointing to note that players like Abdul Rauf, Muhammad Talha, Muhammad Amir, Khalid Latif, Saeed bin Nasir and Anwar Ali have not been considered in central contract although these players are considered to be the future of Pakistan cricket.
PCB is playing double game with the players as, on the one side, PCB offers contract to those players who haven't played a single game in full year while on the other PCB is neglecting those players who were given chances and who performed well in domestic as well as in international circuit.
PCB should reconsider the list of the players of central contract and offer central contract to only those players who stand for it and personal liking and dislikings should be avoided.
Ministry of Sports is trying to interfere in PCB matters which I believe is not a healthy sign as PCB should be run as an autonomous body or as a separate entity like in Australia.
PCB should be answerable to all its acts and decisions to the public as in Pakistan the involvement of people in cricket is much more than in any other sports.