The tall and terrifying figure of the West Indian bowler came loping in and delivered the burgundy colored missile towards the other end. The ball hit the pitch and bounced, hitting the unprotected face of the batsman on the nose. Bone shattered and blood welled up as the stricken player went down on his knees. There was hushed silence followed by applause, for the injured man had risen and was soon walking off the field holding a white handkerchief, now stained red with blood, to his face. Hours later, spectators broke out into lusty cheering as an incoming batsman walked out of the pavilion to bat, with his nose bandaged and plastered. The bowler in this story was Wesley Hall and the man with the broken nose was none other than Ijaz Butt, who returned to take guard and then went on to smash his tormentor all around the lush Lawrence Garden cricket ground, to complete a memorable innings. I was privileged to witness this inspiring incident sitting in the stands as a boy, somewhere in the 1950s.

Almost five decades later, I saw the media report concerning one half of Pakistan’s opening pair in the 2015 World Cup. This gentleman had allegedly feigned injury to avoid rigorous training and was reported upon by the team physiotherapist on receipt of the MRI scan. I marveled at the stark contrast in attitudes and character, wherein one cricketer with a serious (and what is generally a debilitating injury) came back to face the very man who had caused him so much pain and at the other end was someone to whom the hopes of a cricketing nation and the flag apparently didn’t matter.

Opening our batting is another gentleman (who joined the team as a replacement). This person not only acts, but also looks unfit. He bumbles at the crease without contributing to the score and consistently plays the role of Mr. Butterfingers on the field. The irony of it all is that this player continues to occupy the critical opening slot, while a better batsman and experienced wicket keeper has been made to sit on the bench twiddling his thumbs.

Then there is our Chief Selector, who was found ‘fiddling while Rome burnt’, in a kiwi casino. The question of what business this person had to accompany the team (with his family) was amply answered, when he was discovered in the gambling house without an iota of ‘responsible guilt’ following the miserable performance of his team. After desperate attempts to talk his way out of the situation, the man finally apologized for his actions. Had it not been for the media, this episode would have been swept under the carpet. But this is not likely to happen in this particular case, as cricketing fans across the country are seething with anger and eager to see the case come to its logical conclusion.

The PCB is also at the center of a controversy linked to politics, generated and then fuelled by the continued presence of a politicized appointee, who reportedly plays a key role in the Board’s decision making process. Knowing the Prime Minister’s passion for cricket, the nation expects him to intervene and initiate steps to effectively clean up the board and all its controversies for the sake of our national sporting image.

Mercifully, our team did notch up a victory against Zimbabwe. This was a ‘by the skin of the teeth’ win, due to the charismatic deliveries of a seven foot giant and his bowling partner - the latter leaving a message with his bat that we had perhaps discovered an exciting all-rounder.

The bottom line is, that the octogenarian Head of Pakistan’s Cricket Board will have to set aside his diplomatic skills and for once look at the issues plaguing Pakistani Cricket in black and white. In the event of his inability to do so, he should honorably vacate his exalted chair for someone with better leadership qualities, a knowledge of the game and last but not the least, a practical experience of playing it at the highest level.