ISLAMABAD   -   The cat finally came out of the bag, as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), after creating lot of suspense, has named Misbah-ul-Haq as head coach-cum-chief selector and Waqar Younis as bowling coach of the national cricket team.

Many cricket experts are highly surprised by the PCB’s decision. The PCB had given advertisement in press and made rules for appointments on different posts. But the decision reveals that the PCB had already planned to hand over all the key responsibilities to their time-tested Misbah and Waqar.

As if it was already decided, then why they made fun of legendry former Test cricketer Mohsin Hassan Khan, who is the most successful coach of Pakistan cricket? Why they invited applications from Walsh, Dean Jones and others, and why Yasir Arafat, who had applied for bowling coach position, was not considered?

The PCB wanted three years experience for the head coach position in the ad, but Misbah did not have any experience. Then why they broke all the rules just to accommodate Misbah? What are Misbah’s contributions as coach? In fact he is well known for showering countless benefits to his near and dear ones. The selection of players and officials in the country’s premier tournament Quaid-e-Azam Trophy had made it clear that what plans Misbah have for the future of national cricket team.

If unknowns like Wasim Gulzar Khan and Ehsan Mani can be hired on top posts, then why not a local hero can be entertained? Why the PCB was in rush to appoint their favourites Misbah and Waqar? The answer is that the PCB wanted to hide their sins and give cover to the National Cricket Academy (NCA), which had badly flopped to produce or help a single cricketer.

Same old people like Mudassar Nazar, who is a close aide of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Ali Zia, who has spent almost his entire life in the PCB, Intikhab Alam, Haroon Rasheed and two-Test player Zakir Khan, who is enjoying countless powers due to his close relations with the PM, are ruling the governing body.

Zakir has been working in different high-profile roles for the PCB since long. He has been a loser in every role and assignment. His inquiry reports are pending since long with the PCB, as nobody is taking them up. Where is the merit, which CEO Wasim Khan had promised? Does Wasim consider it merit, where top-class coaches are sent packing just because PCB’s top brass doesn’t like them? In fact, it is worst form of political victimization.

Sabih Azhar, who is one of the successful coaches of the country, was given punishment by the PCB just because he is a close relative of former governing board’s member Shakil Sheikh. But the PCB never bothered to take into account all successful efforts of Sabih. Sabih suffered throughout his career, as he hardly got international assignments, while other ordinary coaches enjoyed countless benefits. At one end the PCB is showering countless benefits to Level-I coaches and other non-professionals, while on the other hand skilled coaches are sitting at home.

Diamond Cricket Ground (DCG) is one of the best cricket venues of the country. More than 60 percent of domestic cricket was played in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Every youngster always had a dream of playing on the bouncy tracks of the DCG. But just to punish Islamabad Regional Cricket Association President Shakil Sheikh, PCB decided not to allocate a single trophy match to the DCG.

Why? It is a simple question, which the PCB has to answer. Everybody is looking at PCB Patron PM Imran Khan, who also started his Talent Hunt from this ground to provide justice to the players of the twin cities. Officials and coaches of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, who had served the country for decades, are facing political victimization. The PM must take notice and ensure merit, as history won’t spare anyone.