ADELAIDE            -         Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Executive Wasim Khan said that changes at the grassroots level would bring consistency in Pakistan cricket, saying his role was to overhaul domestic structure, eradicate inconsistency in performance, enhance revenues and improve infrastructure.

In an interview with APP, he talked about his goals at length as cricket a administrator and how the PCB is trying to do things over the longer term, adding that they will be successful in their goals.

On the domestic structure, Wasim said that domestic system was being overhauled in the country, adding that introduction of six regional cricket associations instead of the 16 teams in domestic cricket was a right step, which would promote cricket and minimze the gap between domestic and international cricket.

To a query, he said in other countries, it took almost two years to overhaul a domestic structure but we had done it in 7 months only. Old domestic system, he elaborated, did nothing to overcome inconsistency in performance of the players, stressing inconsistency is the reason behind lack of competitiveness among our players at international level.

“I don’t mean that our players are not good enough but they don’t get the right environment to develop their game and this is the area where we need to work,” he said, adding that if we get the infrastructure right at all levels be it domestic system, coaching or the facilities to the players it help PCB overcome inconsistency.

About the pitches in Pakistan domestic circuit, he said the pitches need to be improved massively and that is the big area, they are looking to improve on. “One of my other priorities is to improve quality of pitches in the country, which are massively different in Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand. The PCB will work to prepare better wickets in order to give fair chances to our players on away tours like Australia,” he claimed.

On the infrastructure like Australia, Wasim said the infrastructures in two countries could not be compared, adding that Australia had invested in the right areas over the years. “We are looking to develop six high-performance centres, to work under the six cricket associations. We are devising ways where these associations can generate their own funds through sponsors.”

He urged the fans to be patient as the systems are not mature and things don’t change overnight. Terming Pakistan Super League (PSL) an important platform to produce tough cricketers and provide opportunities to perform under pressure, he said it provides opportunities to the players to deliver under pressure. “The PSL will toughen players through tough competition very much like the IPL did for the Indian players.”

He said bringing PSL back to Pakistan was a huge achievement, adding that it will be played over four venues in Pakistan including Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi and Multan in February 2020. He said 250 international cricketers from 15 countries have registered for the draft.

Waseem said bringing Test cricket back to Pakistan after 10 years was a huge step forward for them, adding that it was the foremost target as the teams had been visiting Pakistan off and on to play white-ball cricket in the past but Test cricket was missing.

On the achievements during his Australia stay, the PCB CEO said that he had met former Australian cricketers and the members of the Australian Cricketers Association - since the decision to tour a country is taken by the players - during his stay and tried to make possible tour of Australia A team to Pakistan by the end of 2020.

“I have done a lot of media work here and spoke to many Australian cricketers to make visits by foreign teams possible,” he said and added: “Gradually, we are moving in the right direction. The PCB has invited South Africa, Afghanistan and Ireland to come and play T20 cricket against us in March next year.”

On financial sustainability, the CEO admitted that there was a lot of work to be done on the commercial front to become more sustainable as a cricket board, adding since Pakistan didn’t play against India, it causes lots of burden on the revenue. He said the PCB was too much reliant on the ICC, PSL, domestic and international broadcasting rights for revenues, adding that there was need to generate revenues from other sources and a commercial director had been appointed to discover more vistas for revenue generation.

On the lack of quality off-break bowlers in the country, he blamed poor pitches in the country, adding that the spinner did not get a chance to groom as the matches ended within two to three days in the past, saying this promoted medium-pacers only.

On Pakistan team’s Australian tour, he admitted that the team had not started the Test championship well on the Australian soil due to inexperience, adding that Pakistan was not the only side to struggle in Australia. However, he said there were many positives from the tour as the young players had the ability while they needed to nurture self-belief to do well internationally.

On the upcoming World Cup in Australia, Wasim Khan urged the fans to back Misbah-ul-Haq and the team for next 12 months so that a squad could be built for the T20 World in Australia, Asia Cup and the T20 WC in India in 2021.