RAWALPINDI  -   Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief selector Abdul Qadir lambasted the cricket board for preparing pathetic Quaid-e-Azam Trophy schedule and demanded stern action against the responsible.

Talking to The Nation, Qadir said: “I have played cricket for 40 years and I have never witnessed such rubbish and totally unacceptable schedule. It is the event, which provides the country pool of players and I am surprised to know that this premier tournament is being played in September. The country is in grip of severe heat while the Test cricketers are getting sick and are being hospitalized. In case any untoward incident occurs, who will be held responsible, Subhan Ahmed or others.”

He said the entire schedule is drafted to facilitate specific region. “How is it possible for a team to first ensure players to play on Test pattern and just after a day’s gap, same players have to feature in One-Day event. The winds of change have started blowing in the PCB, but same old people like Shafiq Papa, Haroon Rashid, Shakil Shaikh, Saqib Irfan and others are destroying the careers of talented players, who have very less knowledge of cricket. If we hire a doctor to run the affairs, he is bound to spoil all the work. Same is the case with Pakistan cricket, which belongs to cricketers and they must be given authority to promote it to new levels.”

Qadir also lashed out at those former Test cricketers, who agreed to work under Shakil Shaikh and other non-cricketers and held them equally responsible for the debacle. “Pakistan is blessed with natural talent, but these people had spoiled their careers. Only their near and dear ones have the right of playing cricket while others are being deprived of their basic rights.”

He welcomed Ehsan Mani’s induction as PCB chairman and hoped Mani will deliver, unlike of Najam Sethi, who had promoted the culture of favouritism. “Imran Khan is a living legend and he has proved that with sheer determination and hard work, anyone can achieve the target. I am grateful to Imran, as after the Almighty, it was Imran, who gave provided justice.

“Imran had never done injustice to fellow players and always raised his voice to provide justice. Even though, like Sethi, Mani doesn’t have cricketing background, but one has to understand that he is picked by Imran Khan, who is appreciated by even his critics.

“Imran has ability to completely turn around the fortunes of an ordinary Pakistan cricket team and guts of taking the nation forward. I request him to rethink his plans of abolishing departmental cricket, which will help in addressing genuine concerns of former greats and it is the time, Imran must decide whether PCB belongs to cricketers or not,” he added.

The leg sin legend demanded ruthless accountability of all the PCB officials, who managed to grab key posts despite being super flops. “These so-called administrators are getting hefty salaries and perks and privileges, but on the other hand, genuine cricketers, who made all these lavish things possible for PCB officials, are staying outside the PCB and waiting to serve Pakistan cricket in the best possible manner.

“Another important area, where I want PCB to pay attention, is Grade-II. Luckily, I am watching Grade-II for last two years, as ZTBL was playing in Grade-II and nobody knows till the final announcement that how many teams will get up-gradation, one or two till the eleventh hour. These so-called cricket administrators are highly illiterate and they don’t deserve a single day in office,” he added.

“I am being branded by PCB as outspoken and anti-PCB, which is totally rubbish as speaking truth doesn’t mean I am against any certain individual, instead I want justice to prevail in every department of cricket board. It hurts when I witness genuine talent being deprived of their basic rights. I suggest the PCB chairman to observe all things first and then announce a comprehensive policy and clean the PCB from illiterate officials and used bullets,” Qadir concluded.