LAHORE - Arif Ali Khan Abbasi, former CEO of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has blamed the board's patron-in-chief for the country’s declining status in international cricket.
Talking to The Nation, Abbasi said: “Due to ad-hocism, Pakistan cricket is suffering as it is being used to oblige non-technocrats and incompetent persons at the helm. They further worsen the already sorry state of affairs in the PCB with their imprudent decisions and bring bad name to the board at national and international level.”
He pointed out that it was the failure of the PCB management due to which Pakistan cricket was facing various problems including international isolation. “No one in the management made any significant contribution internationally. The PCB officials are enjoying free rides and lavish perks and privileges, while their performance is disappointing,” he added.
Lauding the positive and productive role of Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq, Abbasi said: “Misbah is the only cricketer who has made serious contributions and deserves to be named as ‘the most honourable cricketer of the modern era’. "He took the challenge of leading Pakistan when it mattered the most and he not only did justice to his duties but also helped the team in many crucial victories and kept the green flag high across the globe.”
Terming the proposal presented by India, Australia and England at the ICC to occupy the world cricket ‘highly unacceptable’, the ex-PCB CEO said: “All the three countries have been trying to hijack the game of cricket and their proposal is highly unacceptable. There was a time when Pakistan were one of the best teams. We gave ideas of World Cup, neutral umpires and many others to the ICC. Now, we have lost our status and prestige as a top cricketing nation because most of the high ups running the affairs of the board are incompetent and they lack better ideas and major contributions which the cricket board is badly needed.”
“England, Australia, India themselves need improvement in their systems. England have suffered disgraceful defeat at the hands of Australia while Indian team has been beaten badly by New Zealand and struggling to save series. It is amazing how these boards can claim to be the super trio and beyond law when they themselves need betterment in their systems,” Abbasi asserted.
He said that the board officials must learn from the cricket boards of South Africa and Sri Lanka who were stick to their decisions and did not want cricket being destroyed by few cricket board. “Like these board, the PCB should take time from the ICC and then think about their stance and must oppose the idea of hijacking the game of cricket,” he said.
He said that drastic changes were needed in the domestic structure. “Once we had one of the world’s best domestic structures which was even adopted by England.” “It was a matter of great honour that we ran the PCB affairs for almost 12-and-a-half year in a trend-setting manner with only five persons. We made Pakistan team the world’s best team but now the PCB officials, with a staff of over a 1000 employees, failed to deliver and did nothing significant for the betterment of the game,” he added.
He said that there was a state-of-the-art sporting facility in Karachi with the name of ‘Arabian Sea Country Club’ where all the basic and modern facilities were available for players under one roof. “It has also a cricket stadium and other indoor and outdoor facilities. The PCB can utilize this modern international facility for holding all the national and first class matches.”
When this scribe asked Arif whether he was ready to accept any major role in the cricket board, he replied: “It’s an honour for me to work under late Air Marshal Noor Khan, who took Pakistan cricket and hockey to the highest levels. I served the game very sincerely and did significant work for the development of the game. I have my own rule and regulations to run the affairs of the board and if accept any major role in the PCB, my top priority will be resolving the issues Pakistan cricket has been facing and improvement of our domestic structure as these are the areas which needed to work on and bring wrecking ship of the PCB out of hot waters.”