LAHORE - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi has said that Pakistani cricketers are national assets who must be looked after, groomed and nurtured well.
Sethi was speaking to the cricketers assembled here at the Gaddafi Stadium training camp led by coach M Akram on Friday at the conclusion of their daily training drills. The PCB chief shook hands with each and every cricketer present, as well as the ground staff and enquired about their welfare and opinion about the training camp. Also present on the occasion were Zaheer Abbas, Moin Khan, M Akram and Sarfraz Nawaz.
Sethi’s pep talk was frank and forthright in a relaxed and informal environment. Without mincing any words, he declared: “You all are national assets. As long as I am chairman, I will try and provide you with the best training facilities and incentives. The PCB has hired the best coaching staff from here and abroad for the benefit of the team.”Sethi lauded the services of Akram as camp commandant. "He has a carte blanche from me to hire anyone he finds appropriate for this camp for as long as he wants to improve the fitness and skills of the players for the rigours of the upcoming season", he said.
“The board shall make sure that the players are taken care of economically. The pay scales have vastly improved in my time. And not just the present but past cricketers too are being looked after through increase in pensions and benefits. At the same time, the Board is also making a concerted effort to improve opportunities for players to showcase their talent at home and abroad in various leagues", said Sethi.
Speaking on behalf of the players, Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq acknowledged, this was the best training camp that he had ever participated in. He thanked the PCB chairman for his personal attention to players’ requirements, and Akram for running the camp in a manner which was most beneficial to each of the participants. “Improvement in fitness and skills is quite tangible, and this would stand us in good stead in the coming season”.
Subsequently, to support the UNICEF’s polio immunization programme and to create awareness about the devastating impact of the virus, the players were administered polio drops.