ISLAMABAD     -     For how long Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Patron, will tolerate incompetent top brass of the board, who has caused serious damages to cricket? Almost same players were sitting at the top of the ICC T20 rankings, but ever since the current government has taken over the reins of the country and made changes in the PCB, the national team’s performance has decreased in all the three formats of the game and domestic cricketers have also suffered due to the wholesale changes in it.

Prior to becoming Prime Minister, Imran had made tall claims about taking Pakistan cricket to new heights and giving new dimensions to cricket and other sports. But cricket is going from bad to worse and other sports are at standstill position. The PM does not have time to look into the sports affairs in the country. The South Asian Games (SAG) are round the corner, but the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza are unmoved. Different events are to be held in different parts of the country, but no one is paying heed towards declining standard of sports and listening to the complaints of the athletes, officials and coaches.

After coming into power, Imran had not wasted any time in removing Najam Sethi as PCB Chairman and appointing Ehsan Mani as new chief. Ehsan had also not wasted any time in bringing UK national Wasim Gulzar Khan as PCB Managing Director. However, the post was later abolished and Wasim was made Chief Executive Officer.

Wasim was given extreme powers and departmental cricket was closed down on Imran’s wish, which resulted in unemployment of thousands of cricketers. Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, which had 16 teams in the past, was reduced to six teams. Then Wasim appointed Misbah-ul-Haq as chief selector, head coach and batting coach of the national team to inflict more damages on cricketers while he also replaced professional coaches and low grade employees of the PCB with blue-eyed persons.

After 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Sri Lanka, Misbah once again announced inexperienced squad to face Australians in the T20s and Tests. Pakistan were fortunate in the first Australia T20, as rain came to their rescue. But in the second T20, Pakistan were given a real hammering by the Australians. Misbah made some changes and handed over debuts to Khushdil Shah and Musa Khan in the third T20, but the national team once again was once again hammered by the Australians in all departments of the game. Misbah’s defensive approach has been costing Pakistan team dearly and it can be claimed that Mickey Arthur was 100 times better than Misbah, who has no game plans.

Sarfraz was sacked from captaincy in all three formats of the game. He was not even considered for selection in T20s, which was a surprise and proof of PCB and Misbah’s unprofessionalism. Kamran Akmal’s track record in domestic cricket never caught the eyes of the selectors and the PCB, but handful runs of Muhammad Rizwan earned him a call in T20 and Test matches. Imam was never known for a shorter format, but his relations with former selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, earned him a ticket.

Usman Qadir was compensated for the great loss of his father, a former legendary leg spinner Abdul Qadir, but the youngster never got a chance to show his talent. Why Usman was first selected and then ignored? Why Asif Ali, Mohammad Aamir, Wahab Riaz, Haris Sohail, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Irfan, Musa Khan and Hussnain were selected? The national team badly needs power hitters, as after Abdul Razzaq, the team has been struggling to find a fast bowling all-rounder. Islamabad’s young and dashing all-rounder Ali Imran, who can bowl at 140km speed, was not even considered for the Emerging Asia Cup.

The question here arises that why inexperienced Misbah was handed over three roles with the national team? The things will go from bad to worse unless super flops like Zakir Khan, Haroon Rasheed, Ali Zia, Muddasar Nazar and others are shown the doors. No one else, but the PM and PCB Patron Imran Khan will be held responsible for the downfall of the national team. Why Imran is hesitant to take action against the PCB top brass and reluctant to enforce merit? Any further delay in removing incompetent PCB high-ups will cause further disaster.