September 15, 2019
ISLAMABAD - All the tall claims of Pakistan Cricket Board regarding holding the new domestic cricket season in highly befitting manner were badly exposed, as highly pathetic pitches and poor arrangements at different venues was the highlight of the inaugural day of the four-day first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Second XI matches.
Though the PCB has claimed in a press release that people thronged the stadiums yet the reality was commoners were barred from witnessing national stars in action. Kookaburra balls were introduced in the First Class matches and medium and fast bowlers failed miserably as hardly few wickets fell on the inaugural day. Same old guards, who were super flops at international stage managed to score big runs as slow turfs were provided by the PCB just to ensure blue-eyed players excel.
Islamabad and Pindi Stadium pitches, which are well-known for bounce and pace were ignored and not a single match has been awarded to Diamond Cricket Ground, which is one of the best cricket grounds of the country while Maraghzar cricket ground was also overlooked for trophy matches. it is worst kind of political victimisation and also depriving genuine talent of the twin cities to showcase their abilities in front of local crowds. Local scorers Shakeel Ahmed and Adnan Farooq, who were performing duties since long were only given a match in entire tournament, while scorer from Multan was given matches at different venues, which are close to Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Pakistan’s top curator Niamat Ali, who won the best curator award in 2017 and was deputed at Diamond Ground, was transferred to Abbottbad. Niamat was serving at Diamond for last 12 years while Gulsher assistant curator at Diamond was transferred to Pindi Cricket Stadium. Why the PCB never bothered to send home superflops like Zakir Khan, Mudassar Nazar, Haroon Rasheed, Ali Zia, Subhan Ahmed? Master coaches like Sabih Azhar and Taimoor Azam had been terminated and instead leeser known and lesser experienced coaches have been drafted to pass on benefits to near and dear ones.
It had never been witnessed in the past that highly non-qualified coaches, managers and other officials were given such a free hand. The PCB employees are suffering to get meagre monthly salaries but top management is showing the all is well picture to world. Number of top class players fail to get chance to play in both formats of domestic cricket while players from certain cities and former departments were showered with countless benefits. Fast bowlers struggled badly to buy wickets while where few wickets did fall were mainly captured by the spinners. Pakistan cricket is badly suffering to get quality fast bowlers, off spinners and top class officials to conduct matches due to ill-practices of the Board.
PCB issued press release claiming massive crowds turned up to watch matches at different venues, but the ground reality is completely different as empty stadiums are showing the true picture of PCB claims. At KRL even Test cricketers and PCB officials can’t get access and it has been time and again requested to PCB either not to allocate matches to KRL as sports journalists and spectators were always denied entry in the stadium or at least ensure sports journalists and spectators should be given access to the venue, but no heed was paid. Once again, even the PCB officials were not allowed to enter the KRL Stadium.
The old menace of poor umpiring is again there as new PCB brains like CEO and Chairman are failed to improve this area too. It is very easy to follow the directions of PCB Patron PM Imran Khan but the patron never forced the PCB top brass to ignore merit and never told them to send home highly qualified coaches nor wanted professionals ignored and near and dear ones obliged.
Players and officials has requested Prime Minister Imran khan to look into sorry state of affairs of the PCB and provide them with justice, The PM in his talent hunt programme had highly lauded Diamond Cricket Ground and promised, if he gets into power, he will construct number of cricket grounds like Diamond in entire country. And now look what happened to PM’s promise as Diamond ground has been baldy punished because of former governing board member Shakil Sheikh’s association with the ground. Pakistan have to play highly important series in near future and results are not hard to judge if things continue in same fashion.