The Pakistan Cricket Board Friday announced the formation of a cricket committee to oversee a range of issues pertaining to both domestic and international cricket.
PCB chairman Ehsan Mani made the announcement at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore following a day-long discussion with the members of the committee: Mohsin Khan, Wasim Akram, Misbah-ul-Haq and Urooj Mumtaz.
Subhan Ahmed, Chief Operating Officer, PCB, detailed the roles of the committee.
“We’re announcing the cricket committee today. Mohsin Khan will chair the committee and it’s members are Wasim Akram, Misbah-ul-Haq and Urooj Mumtaz,” Subhan said.
“Three former cricketers will assess this committee from the PCB’s side, including Mudassar Nazar (Director Academies), Haroon Rasheed (Director Domestic Cricket) and Zakir Khan (Director International Cricket). These will be ex-officio members and Zakir will also serve as the Secretary of the committee."
The terms of reference for the committee are as following:
Review of the plans for promotion and conduct of game of cricket at all levels.
Formulate playing conditions for domestic matches. (use of cricket balls etc)
Oversee appointment of Selection Committees.
Oversee appointment of National Team Coaches.
Meet with Chief Selector and Coach (Men, Women & Junior) three times a year.
Review plans for the development of umpires, referees and curators.
Receive annual assessment of performance from Management on umpires & referees.
Preparation and quality of pitches.
Condition of playing facilities (dressing rooms, practice facilities including net wickets)
Give views on any other matter referred by the Chairman PCB.
Addressing the concerns on a potential conflict with the selection committee, Subhan assured that the cricket committee will not interfere and the selection committee will continue to function independently.
“Selection committee’s role is totally different from the cricket committee,” Subhan clarified. “The selection committee will keep on functioning independently. The cricket committee will overview the issues and give its recommendations to the PCB.”
“Similarly, the committee will meet the national head coach and the selection committee thrice in a year to discuss plans and will give its ‘fair’ report to the PCB chairman without any interference.”
On the potential conflict of interest, with Akram and Misbah's involvement in the PSL, Subhan clarified that the committee won’t really have a decision-making power.
“They are only guiding us on the cricketing matters. But if there is an issue, we’ll study it on case to case basis and decide accordingly.”
PCB chairman Ehsan Mani defended the inclusion of Wasim Akram, a key figure in Justice Qayyum’s report, in the new committee, terming the report 'inconclusive'.
“Mr Qayum made some allegations and said he will give details on those later on, which haven’t been provided till day,” said Mani.
“A lot of those players mentioned in the report went on to coach England and other international sides. The respective board’s investigative units did their inquiries and cleared them.”
Mani also reiterated that the new committee’s role is that of oversight and give recommendations to the PCB accordingly.
Mohsin Khan will chair the new cricket committee ©Cricingif
Former Pakistan chief selector and head coach Mohsin Khan, who has been vocal critic of the players named in the Qayyum report, appeared to have softened his stance on the issue.
“I have been clarified by the Chairman [Ehsan] Mani and COO Subhan that most of the allegations in Qayyum report are not authentic. This has given me the confidence and that’s the reason why I am here,” explained Mohsin who will lead the committee.
“Today, what I am is because of Pakistan and I have done all my previous management roles honestly,” said Khan. “From domestic to international cricket, Haroon and Mudassir have been doing their job and we’ll try to work with them to further propagate the Pakistan cricket.”
Emphasising the role of checks and balances, Mohsin vowed that there will be no favourtism at any level.
“Our duty will be to keep a check on all the affairs and inform the chairman.
“There will be no favouritism in selection or picking captains or coaches in both domestic and international cricket. The only standard will be the merit.”
Fomer Pakistan captain Wasim Akram said that he will utilise his nearly 10-year experience of coaching and administrative roles with the franchises.
“The idea is to help Pakistan cricket. I have almost 10 years of experience in franchise cricket in coaching as well as administrative roles. I’ll share all that.
Answering a question on the abolishment of departments, Akram said it has not come under discussion yet.
“There is no decision on that yet. We’ll sit down and evaluate and see how to move forward. We’ll sit in the next meeting and go step by step. No haphazard decision.”
Recalling the tough period during the investigations by Justice Qayyum, Akram said that it was tough for him and his family.
“It was tough. It still is. As Mani and Mohsin said, there is no conclusion to that report.
“The secondary report never came. There is a reason why I get jobs because I give my 100 percent and my reputation is also on the line.”
PCB COO Subhan Ahmed and former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq ©Cricingif
Former Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq emphasised the need of proper facilities in domestic cricket for the improvement in the level of domestic cricket.
“I have played a lot of domestic cricket and there is interaction with the current players and know the problems and what needs remedy,” said Misbah. “It’s a great chance to share all the issues and give suggestions to work on the issues. Which in turn will impact both our domestic and international cricket positively.”
Misbah also defended Sarfraz against the aggressive criticism following Pakistan’s embarrassing campaign in the Asia Cup.
“We over-react too often. He has a lot of achievements already. Testing time can come at any time and that’s where you learn. And the way he played against Australia will be very good experience. There have been some let-ups but he will learn.”
Former Pakistan women’s skipper and selector Urooj Mumtaz said that a lot needed to be done for the women’s cricket in Pakistan to make it an international force.
“I have been there since almost the start of international team. In the presence of such big names, I think we can improve women’s cricket a lot. Because the women’s cricket needs a lot of improvement to become a force at the international level.”
Mumtaz emphasised the significance of the standalone Women’s WT20 and said that it was about time we focused on women’s cricket to create a mark in the international arena.