RAWALPINDI - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Aziz Sethi must look into huge discrimination and unethical behaviour of PCB with lower staff and especially the ground staff and curator, who spent more than 15 hours during the events and also sacrifice their holidays, but in return, the board doesn’t have anything for them.

It was quite shocking that the PCB top management has every trick in their pockets and never let any opportunity to go waste to ensure hefty TA/DAs and perks and privileges, but when it comes to passing the benefits on lower staff, grounds man and curators, they don’t have a single penny nor even a few words of appreciation.

When this scribe visited Pindi Cricket Stadium to witness the final of the National One Day Cup – Regions 2017-18, it was noticed that the ground staff, curators, manager Pindi Stadium and regional staff remained present at the venue at around 6am to ensure smooth functioning of the things and the final was played on Sunday, the holiday in the entire country. But to the great surprise, PCB never think about ensuring work hours or at least paying meager overtime to the lower staff, who spent around 18 hours during the tournament, besides sacrificing their holidays.

When this scribe asked ground staff and others whether they were paid extra for overtime, the reply was not only shocking but also speaks volumes about PCB’s inability to realise suffering of lower staff. The prices of items of daily use have already been increasing rapidly but the poor staffers’ pays are not meeting the pace of such price-hike. They have to work for long hours even on holidays and they don’t get a single extra penny.

Another shocking and unethical thing to notice was that the players, umpires, commentators, guests, regional heads and other get lunch boxes, free water and other benefits, but the poor ground staff has to buy meal for themselves and even they have to pay from their own pockets to get tea. What a great injustice with the poor staffers, who ensure smooth functioning of each and everything, but in return, they are not given even what they deserve. It is a matter of grave concern for the PCB chairman as it is his moral duty to ensure not only ground and lower-ranked staffers get every possible facility, but also get overtime for extra work. They deserve special incentives and bonuses for making events highly successful while they must be given extra days’ salary for working on public holidays.

Pindi Stadium curator M Riaz, his entire ground staff, manager Shoukat Jadoon, assistant manager Hamza and entire staff all deserve to be given appreciation letters for making the National One-Day Cup a huge success. Riaz prepared prefect pitches for the entire tournament, which were full of support for not only batsmen, but also for the bowlers. If the higher staff can get TA/DAs and other benefits, the lower staff should also get meager benefits. Why the PCB ignored Riaz for his exceptional work, why only PCB knows one curator and that is Niamat Ali, who is at Diamond ground, while all the other curators, who work tirelessly and prepare world class pitches never get a single word of appreciation from the PCB.

All the top class players and former greats were full of praise for Riaz and his staff for excellent work. It is high time when Sethi must announce special incentives for Pindi Stadium staff, but also ensure all the lower staffers must not only get over time, meal, tea but also extra pay for working on holidays.

The PCB should also start special incentives for title winning coach. It is true that coaches have share in prize money, but it is the coach, who works so hard and faces a lot of criticism, but he doesn’t get what he deserves. It is hoped that the PCB chief will look into this matter and also provide justice to coaches as well.