Monday, November 16, 2009

Administrators blunder make laughing stock of cricket

Pakistan cricket is not alien to crisis. From time to time we have experienced it in every era and the present one is not any different to others.

The reason mainly being poor governance by those at the helm who had little or no ability at all to control the situation and, to save their own skin, they would succumb to all kind of pressures.

Sadly, a great majority of those administrators were forced upon the system to run the game as they pleased. The present lot is not any different.

Already a year in the office, they have neither managed to have a constitution nor have been able to convince their critics about the irregularities in maintaining accounts.

This is a huge scam and even the governing body of the PCB, which is supposed to bring some sort of transparency in the working of the board, has so far failed to make their presence felt.

The few voices of dissent from a couple of members from time to time in the meetings did little but not enough to go past the deaf ears of the PCB chairman who could have done the game some service had he not so far resorted to arbitrary decisions.

The appointment of Mohammad Yousuf as the captain for the tour of New Zealand has also come about in a similar fashion.

The members of the governing body once again have been made to look like the ‘dead ducks’. Their feathers have long been clipped from the time they joined the board and the future members will not be any different.

In a crisis like the one which resulted in Younis Khan quitting the captaincy and the tour, strong management should have made sure to shove off all the nonsense that has been going around within the team and should have made sure to back their captain to set an example for future conspirators to learn what happens when player-power raises its head.

In my experience there were only two men at the helm of the cricket board who knew what they were doing to make sure that the game is always greater than the players.

When in 1976, the players led by Mushtaq Mohammad demanded more fees to play in the Tests and challenged the board that they would not take the field in the Hyderabad Test against New Zealand, the then President of the board Abdul Hafeez Kardar, a former captain, gathered another eleven and warned the players that unless they withdraw their demands they would not be playing for Pakistan.

The players had to bow down and a huge scandal was averted.

Similarly, when most of the stalwarts of the 1981-82 tour to Australia came back home, having played under a young Javed Miandad, they revolted against his brand of leadership and would not agree to play against Sri Lanka in the 1982 home series.

That included Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Imran Khan, Wasim Bari etc.

Air-Vice-Marshal Nur Khan, the president of the board then who had initially appointed Miandad as captain, would not take it lying down and dropped all those not willing to play to bring in new players.

Salim Malik was one of them, who on his debut at Karachi scored a century in the second innings and went on to become one of the finest batsmen of the country.

Saleem Yousuf got his opening also because of the rumpus. The rebellious players, however, came back in the fold in the final Test at Faisalabad when Miandad himself withdrew from the captaincy but not before he had won the series to give Imran Khan the opportunity to captain Pakistan in England in the 1982 series.

Serious situations need drastic measures. Presently, there are no decision makers about the team affairs and that is quite alarming.

Pakistan cricket is adrift without a radar and navigation system which is rusty and out of date and now in need of urgent repair. Leaving it too late would mean more pirates coming overboard to challenge authority.

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