ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) kept mum on sorry state of affairs of Islamabad Cricket Association (ICA), where highly powerful Shakil Shaikh is still calling all the shots and spoiling careers of youngsters in twin cities.

Shakil Shaikh, who had well passed his third term as ICA president, started the Regional Inter-District U-19 One-Day Tournament 2018-2019, despite PCB chairman Najam Sethi’s promise to look into the issue and referring the case to Haroon Rasheed. But nothing has been done on ground and Shakil started the tournament according to his own rules and regulations.

A number of youngsters were declared overage without any solid reasons and interestingly, majority of them were cleared after age tests, but the purpose of declaring then overage was to deprive them of representing their own region. These tactics had been witnessed for the last two decades, but there is no one to provide justice to long-suffering youth of the federal capital.

At one end, a number of talented youth was never considered for regional teams, but on the other hand, Shakil is free to give chance to sons in Islamabad as well as other region’s teams. Due to Shakil’s influence, all his three sons have still been enjoying one after another chance despite giving pathetic performances at different levels, but the PCB is not more than a silent spectator in this case.

The PCB is very quick to appoint ad-hoc on other regions, but despite well over two months passed, Shakil is still working as ICA president. He is appointing all the officials of his liking while zones were never consulted and there is every possibility that he will manage to get relaxation in rules and secretly appoint himself as president for the fourth term in running.

The time is high when the PCB chairman must break silence and appoint an ad-hoc committee based on persons, who enjoy reputation, to conduct free and fair elections of the region under impartial election commission, as it is the only solution to all the problems. Any further delay and silence from the PCB chief can further aggravate the situation and all the stakeholders will start raising fingers towards Sethi.

The PCB must immediately check violations being made by Shakil Shaikh and strict action must be taken against him. The deserving players must be given due right of representing their respective zones to ensure free and fair opportunities for all, or else Shakil will continue to spoil the merit and deprive the genuine talent of their basic rights.