PAKISTANI cricket has probably never before seen an occasion where the minister in-charge has had to apologise to the body to which he is ultimately accountable, for making a mis-statement, to the National Assembly. In a game obsessed with records, that unwanted record was created by the answer to a question asked by Hanif Abbasi of the PPP, based on information provided to the Sports Minister, Kh Asif of the PML-N, by the Pakistan Cricket Board. There was the revelation, extracted from the PCB with great difficulty, that the Chief Operating Officer, Shafqat Naghmi, receives a salary of Rs 560,000. Kh Asif conceded that the PCB had tried to misguide the Ministry about Naghmi's salary, but his checking had revealed that all sports bodies were either manned by favourites, mostly bureaucrats, political cronies or retired Army officers, who were less interested in developing the sport, and more interested developing themselves. He said that the PCB chairman had gone on 30 foreign tours and had drawn $29,500 in daily allowance alone, with his stay, transport and other expenses charged separately. Naturally enough, the Minister had no objection to Mr Abbasi's request that the matter be referred to the House Standing Committee on Sport. However, the matter of the PCB has gone to committee before, without any solution. It is to be hoped that this time, the Committee will pay full attention to the affairs of Pakistan cricket, which have been going from bad to worse under the present Chairman, with Pakistan losing everything in sight despite spending all of this money, and losing our best players, like Mr Shoaib Akhtar, merely because the Chairman is on an ego trip. If we are to compare this with India, which appears to be going from strength to strength, what with the new, international, 20-20 championship in the Indian Premier League, in Pakistan there seem no chances of future growth, particularly of future victory in any format. The National Assembly Committee must take appropriate action, and sack the Chairman of the PCB.