Only PM should be held responsible for Pakistan cricket’s debacle

Published: 07:37 PM, 6 Jan, 2021
Only PM should be held responsible for Pakistan cricket’s debacle
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Ehsan Mani, Wasim Gulzar Khan, Zakir Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis and company had destroyed Pakistan cricket team and no one, but Pakistan Cricket Board Patron Imran Khan must be held responsible for this debacle.

The way New Zealand cricket team destroyed green caps first in the T20 Internationals and then the way green caps were simply outclassed in all departments of the game during the two-Test series, it is more than enough to open the eyes of all those, who believed that Misbah and company can bring revolution in Pakistan cricket.

Ever since Mani was appointed as the Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board by the Patron, Imran Khan, who is also the Prime Minister of Pakistan, eyebrows were raised. Cricket lovers of not only Pakistan but around the globe were looking highly anxious as firstly Mani doesn’t have the in-depth knowledge about the dynamics of Pakistan cricket and to make things further worse Mani appointed Wasim Gulzar Khan first as Managing Director (MD) of the PCB and then the post turned into Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The combination of Mani and Wasim simply destroyed Pakistan cricket. On the pressure of Patron, Domestic structure was completely changed, teams’ were reduced from 16 to 6 and 24 departmental teams and 8 associations teams, who played Grade-II cricket were completely closed down.

A number of top cricketers, including international players were left jobless, associations were dissolved, club cricket was completely closed down for last two years which resulted in less than 200 players on offer for the country’s premier first class tournament, Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. Same six teams also play Grade-II now. When club cricket and departmental cricket teams were closed down, nobody for a while thought from where fresh talent will surface.

After being drubbed by England, Misbah and co got a lifeline as they managed to defeat minnows, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Test matches at home soil. However, Zimbabwe gave a huge scare to Pakistan as they managed to win one One Day International from once the superpower of world cricket. But it was not enough for PCB and above all for Imran as first Imran lauded Misbah and term him the best coach to lead Pakistan cricket and most recently PCB Chairman Mani said the PCB has best coaching staff for Pakistan cricket.

However, these tall claims were badly exposed by Kiwis, who gave a cricketing lesson to Pakistan in both Tests. After putting some decent fight in the first Test, Pakistan were fully exposed by the hosts, as Pakistan lost the second Test by an innings and 176 runs.

In the last 12 Test matches, Pakistani bowlers had only 10 times managed to bowl opponents out while in the last 23 innings, Pakistani batsmen were bundled out 22 times. Once they were beaten by England by 9 wickets, the situation was alarming but neither the PCB nor the PCB Patron was moved.

Shan Masood, Haris Sohail and Abid Ali were complete disasters while the situation was even worst when it comes to Pakistan bowling. None of the bowlers was able to take even five wickets in the innings. M Abbas, Naseem Shah, Yasir Shah and debutant Zafar Gohar were highly unimpressive. Only Shaheen Afridi was able to show some fighting skills.

When Imran Khan was in opposition, he always used to say when cricket team show poor results it is the Prime Minister and President who should be held responsible. Imran always used to say, in which country, the government appoints PCB Chairman and promised if he gets power, he will ensure no government interference in the PCB affairs.

But he didn’t even waste a single day as after assuming powers, Imran immediately announced Ehsan Mani as PCB Chairman while his close friend Zakir Khan, who enjoyed more than two decades in the board and proved a super flop in every given role, is still calling all the shots in the board.

No one can dare to question Zakir while Master Level-IV and other top coaches were dismissed from services, mainly due to their affiliation with one certain individual, who was highly powerful former PCB Governing board member. Islamabad and Rawalpindi cricket grounds are presenting deserted look as PCB doesn’t want Shakil Shaikh.

Former Islamabad Regional Cricket Association President once again came into limelight as the PCB is not only punishing Shakil Shaikh but also the players of twin cities. Islamabad and Rawalpindi cricket grounds in the past were hosting more than 60 percent of domestic cricket, but for last two years, Islamabad was not even allocated single first class or even Grade-II match, which baldy affected the performance of the national team as well. In the past before embarking on England or New Zealand and Australian tours, the national team used to practice in Islamabad or Abbottabad grounds.

After the highly shameful loss at the hands of New Zealand, it was expected that the Patron or PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani will issue an apology and promise inquiry into such pathetic performances. Besides national team, Shaheens, formally known as Pakistan A, were also baldy exposed. Shaheens were hammered by even provincial teams in New Zealand.

Misbah selected both national and Shaheens. Waqar Younus like all his previous stints has proved again a complete disaster. Younus Khan also baldy failed to justify his role as batting coach. Waqar had turned Pakistan bowling into highly defensive one and it seems like school-going kids are representing Pakistan team.

The PCB through their blue-eyed journalists spread rumours of removing Misbah soon after South African series, which had no reality as it is an attempt by the board to cool down masses, who are furious over Pakistan team display.

If the PCB is serious they would have never waited and removed entire coaching staff. It is expected that PCB Patron Imran Khan will finally take notice of the highly pathetic performances of the PCB high ups and sack entire board and appoint ad hoc committee and stalwarts like Zaheer Abbas, Rashid Latif, Muhammad Yousaf, Mohsin Hassan Khan and Saeed Anwar should be given the responsibilities to run Pakistan cricket affairs. It is the one and only way of saving Pakistan cricket from further downside, or else time is not far when once champions of the world cricket, might have to play qualifying rounds to book a place in the ICC events. It is hoped PM Khan will act in the best interest of Pakistan cricket without any further delays.

Categories : Opinion
Mohsin Ali

Mohsin Ali is a seasoned senior sports journalist, analyst and writer from Islamabad. Mohsin Ali never hesitates to appreciate the new talent as well as point out their flaws. He keeps nudging sports federations and authorities without any concessions to make them realise their incompetence and wrong decisions and always strive for the betterment of Pakistani sports.