ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) didn’t think twice before shifting the Cool & Cool T20 Cup 2017-18 to Rawalpindi from Faisalabad, which will commence today (Saturday).

They must be aware of the fact that Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) has been staging a sit-in at Faizabad and all the roads leading to Rawalpindi and Islamabad are completely closed. The commuters of twin cities are finding it very difficult to attend offices, schools, colleges, universities. Not even this, but the patients are suffering badly, as not only patients from Rawalpindi but from far-flung areas of Punjab, KP, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan rushed to PIMS and Polyclinic.

The PCB advisors, who don’t know the ABC of cricket, have just one thing in mind to get maximum benefits and pass onto their near and dear ones. At a time when Rawalpindi is under tremendous pressure from religious elements, the tournament should have been either moved to another city or postponed for a few days. It is impossible for the spectators to turn up to witness the matches, as roads leading towards Pindi Stadium are under high pressure for the last few days.

The conducting of tournament will add more misery to the sufferings of not only masses, but it can turn the protesters violent, because they are not being taken seriously by the government, so in such situation, holding the national tournament will not only endanger the lives of players, but also the officials.

PCB chairman Najam Sethi must postpone the event for a few weeks until and unless things are back to normal or move the event to somewhere else. If the PCB, despite all odds, holds the event, it will invite the wrath of religious elements and no one else but the PCB high ups will be held responsible for any untoward incident.

The questions here arise that on what grounds and reasons the Rawalpindi administration has given nod of approval to the PCB to conduct the event. How can they ignore the simple fact that how will they provide security to teams and spectators? What was the reason behind taking this decision in such haste? Why does PCB chairman Najam Sethi take decisions according to his will? Why has he gathered same old used bullets around him, who just want to reap maximum benefits from both hands?

It is quite painful that when Sethi took over the PCB, he had promised to clean the board from opportunists, but sadly, he failed in fulfilling his promise, rather he had appointed same persons at highly important positions. The persons, who are clinging on to regions and the PCB for decades, are free to enjoy all the liberty. They select players upon their personal liking and disliking, but there is no one who may dare to stop them from this injustice. After Sethi took over, it was hoped that he would take some bold and wise decisions to help Pakistan cricket in general, but he also adopted same old policies and hired services of incompetent and opportunist persons.

The time is high when the PCB chairman should shun dual policies and remove such persons, who had nothing to do with promotion of cricket, but want to mint money. The PCB usually hires hotels in Islamabad and if they do the same, the players would have to suffer mentally and physically before reaching the venue, as only IJP Principle Road and 9th Avenue are partially open for all kinds of traffic. It will be huge fuss to take such risk. It will be in the best interest of players and PCB to postpone the event or shift it to other safer city.