Imran Khan rejects PCB delegation plea to reinstate division cricket in Pakistan

Imran Khan, Pakistan’s Prime Minister and patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board, has rejected calls for reviving departmental cricket within the nation. In a quick assembly at Khan’s residence, a delegation that included Misbah-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali and Mohammad Hafeez, made a bid to alter the premier’s thoughts in regards to the new construction, which has already price over 400 cricketers their jobs, however may make no headway with Khan insisting that the brand new regional mannequin was “the right way”.

The cricketers who met Khan cited the diminished earnings for gamers beneath the brand new mannequin, in addition to the diminished alternatives for youthful cricketers to select up the sport.

“The new structure didn’t make any difference from its first year (2019) to the second (2020), which has been affected by Covid-19 too,” one member of the delegation stated. “The pipeline of cricketers coming into the system has been drying up. We understand that Imran Khan has a point about having competitive cricket in Pakistan, but you cannot implement this in one go, without giving an alternative to cricketers.”

Nevertheless, Khan caught to his stand, and stated he had satisfied the cricketers “with great difficulty” that the brand new construction wanted time.

“I have convinced with great difficulty Misbah, Hafeez and Azhar that the new cricket structure must be allowed to grow and become strong,” Khan stated later. “I told them that every new system had its teething problems and it takes some time but I can assure you once it is established, it will ensure the raw talent we have in cricket will come through polished and groomed for international cricket.”

He added that no matter success Pakistan had to date was regardless of the outdated system, and never due to it.

“I am hopeful that we will be able in a position to field a very strong team for the next World Cup and do well in it thanks to this new system,” he stated. “Despite this system we won because of the immense raw talent we have. Nowhere does a player graduate straight into the national team from junior or club level cricket.”

ALSO READ: “We need departmental cricket back in Pakistan” – Umar Gul

Alongside the three cricketers, the delegation included PCB chairman Ehsan Mani, chief govt Wasim Khan, the COO Salman Naseer and Wasim Akram, in his capability as a PCB cricket committee member.

Khan had been a powerful advocate for a home construction with solely regional sides as an alternative of departmental sides for a lot of his enjoying profession too, wanting Pakistan to undertake a construction just like Australia’s Protect cricket. Since changing into Prime Minister, a place that robotically makes him the patron of the PCB, Khan set about placing his concepts in place. He instructed Mani to restructure the home mannequin with six regional groups within the system, which might be the one feeder for the nationwide crew. The choice successfully ended the position that departmental cricket had for the reason that 1970s, nevertheless it additionally noticed 400 cricketers lose their livelihoods as a result of that they had held jobs with departments solely by advantage of enjoying for these groups. The PCB supplied contracts to solely 192 cricketers, other than match officers. For a lot of these contracts are a lot decrease worth than what departments had been paying cricketers, the place they usually benefited from different perks.

“Despite this system we won because of the immense raw talent we have. Nowhere does a player graduate straight into the national team from junior or club level cricket.”


ESPNcricinfo understands the assembly was additionally marred by PCB officers contradicting gamers and never letting discussions move easily. One of many gamers informed ESPNcricinfo that Khan requested for persistence with the brand new mannequin, saying that Khan argued that such “transition” was at all times going to be tough, however that for the nationwide aspect to learn, there wanted to be aggressive home cricket. No profitable mannequin in different cricket enjoying nations, Khan stated, has departments (or company groups) enjoying on the highest degree in home cricket. Khan additionally argued that gamers’ growth stopped as soon as they obtained jobs with departments, as a result of the safety bred complacency.

The brand new construction is supposed to empower the six province associations to function from the grassroots degree to the home degree, and they are going to be liable for regulating membership, metropolis and regional cricket. However whereas sound on paper, it isn’t been straightforward to implement the brand new mannequin in apply. Golf equipment that had been presupposed to be registered beneath the brand new mannequin have not been, whereas gamers have performed for the golf equipment for the previous 18 months in a type of vacuum – with the outdated construction gone and with out the brand new construction in place.

Home cricket in Pakistan has been performed amongst departments and areas for almost 50 years, beginning within the early 1970s, when Abdul Hafeez Kardar, Pakistan’s first Take a look at captain after which PCB chairman, inspired organisations like Habib Financial institution Restricted, Sui Southern Gasoline Company, Water and Energy Improvement Authority and others to supply employment alternatives for gamers. With the brand new mannequin, most departments have already suspended contracts that they had with cricketers. Those that had been everlasting staff had been requested to select desk jobs, successfully ending their cricketing aspirations. These had been gamers employed primarily for his or her cricketing expertise, and given their lack of {qualifications} for different jobs, they’ve needed to choose non-executive jobs with lesser pay.

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