RAWALPINDI - Former Pakistan skipper Zaheer Abbas says Pakistan Cricket Board is being run by non-technocrats and demands a technocrat cricket chief for revival of international cricket in the country.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of Masood Anwar Cricket Academy at Jammia High School ground on Tuesday, Zaheer said: “The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is being run by non-cricketers, who even don’t know the ABC of the game. If we want to revive international cricket in Pakistan, we have to bring in technocrats in the board as only by doing so, Pakistan cricket can get honour and respect in and outside the country.”

He said when he was selected to contest ICC president slot, three countries were required to nominate his name, which duly did due to his strong cricketing background and honour and respect, he enjoyed internationally. “It was a great honour for me that all the 104 members, present during the voting process, voted in favour of me, which is a clear indication that if a cricketing brain is appointed for some kind of a top level post, his past track record means a lot and he can bring betterment and improvements in the board as well as game.”

About Indian cricket board, Zaheer said: “India cricket board always dictates terms to the ICC because of two major reasons, firstly due to overwhelming revenues, the ICC generates from India and secondly, Indians offer huge market and main attraction is because of huge money involved.”

Sharing his experience as ICC president, Zaheer has said that he travelled to different parts of the world, but he was quite convinced that Pakistan is highly blessed with immense amount of natural talent. “I am given responsibility by Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif of hunting and grooming promising young talent, for which I am determined and dedicated to achieve the target in given time frame. I will follow merit and provide quality cricketers for the national team.”

Zaheer strongly recommended former MNA Hanif Abbasi’s name for ‘pride of performance’ for his outstanding contributions in establishing international-standard cricket grounds duly equipped with modern day requirements.

“I have heard a lot about quality ground being prepared by Hanif Abbasi. Let me confess, I am here for past two days and witnessed almost all the cricket venues, which are very well managed and equipped with modern-day facilities. For this, I not only salute Hanif Abbasi, but strongly recommend Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif to confer ‘pride of performance’ on him,” he added.

Zaheer said he had given responsibility of coordinating with former international player Masood Anwar. “Masood had played cricket with me and I am sure he will not disappoint me and run the affairs very smoothly. I want to visit Government Viqar-un-Nisa Floodlight Cricket Ground as well to examine the international-standard facilities there. It was really a great step towards promotion of women sports. As we have tremendous talent in females, I hope such facilities will certainly help in bearing fruit as far as women cricket is concerned.”

Zaheer also believed that Pakistan would eventually revive international cricket in the country. "I do not want to predict a time frame of international teams touring Pakistan, but I do hope over the next 2-3 years we could see them playing back in Pakistan. When I used to sit on international forums as ICC president, I used to talk a lot about cricket in Pakistan, but people didn't want to come due to their security concerns."

He said building the confidence of foreign teams over the security situation in Pakistan was the only way to revive international cricket in Pakistan. "Pakistan has a very strong team and it is very important member of ICC and without it, the world of cricket is not complete. The government and people also want the cricket to come back to Pakistan."

Meanwhile, Masood Anwar thanked Hanif Abbasi and especially Zaheer Abbas for taking time out from his highly busy schedule and promised that he would live up to the expectations of Zaheer and try his best to promote the game among youth on merit.