ISLAMABAD - The successful holding of the recently-concluded National Twenty20 Cup has showed the world that Pakistan is safer country and is ready to host the national and international sports events in a befitting manner.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) deserver appreciation for organizing the event successfully which also helped the board earn reasonable profit. It could have been conducted in better and highly professional manner, had Rawalpindi administration and local police had cooperated with the board.

Throughout the domestic T20 event, the policemen remained busy in obliging their near and dear ones and occupying all the major seats, especially VVIP and chairman box seats for their families and friends and were completely free to even move into the dressing rooms of the teams, while on the other hand, the journalists and other professionals were treated like aliens.

The PCB had detailed meeting with Rawalpindi Islamabad Sports Journalists Association (RISJA), as sports journalists of twin cities were given real bashing by the PCB security staff led by former SP Younis Butt, who considered himself above all the rules and regulations and was least bothered about giving respect to the journalists. On the other hand, he was busy in accommodating police officials’ families, taking photographs with police officers inside stadium, where even green sticker holders were not allowed access. All was done in front of cameras, which were installed by various TV channels to cover the event, had patron of the tournament Shakil Sheikh, who is also the PCB governing board member, and chairman organizing committee Intikhab Alam not looked into matter of such significant matters, the things could have turned uglier. Both gentlemen used commonsense and resolved many important issues very well.

RISJA members completely honored the SOP decided between both the parties, but the PCB security staff never honored their verbal agreement, and strangers, friends, relatives of security officials were allowed access to dressing room, allowed entry to players’ area, while the journalists never even tried to think about breaking the promise.

The PCB missed the simple trick, which could have made tournament a mega success, as if they had allowed free entry to masses in the qualifying round and main round of matches and tickets had imposed for only semifinals and grand final, the empty stands could have filled to capacity. Even then, the massive crowd was witnessed during the main round of matches. But tickets issue and police behavior and tackling didn't allow commoners to get inside. The national broadcaster failed to live up to expectations, and they must have hired professionals like Dr Nauman Niaz, who knows sports very well and is like an authority when it comes to cricket. But even then it was an impressive effort by the national broadcaster, as had they not telecasted the tournament, majority of Pakistanis could have been deprived of watching their favorite players in action.

The Pindi Stadium and Diamond ground curators also deserve appreciation, as they made highly supportive tracks which proved very good for batsmen as well as for bowlers. All the greats were full of praise for preparing such supportive tracks and urged the PCB to announce rewards for both grounds staff. PCB chairman Shahryar M Khan set highly appreciable example by announcing bonus for PCB staff deputed at Pindi and Islamabad grounds on the special request of RISJA president. The lower staff had played key role in making event huge success. Led by Shakeel Khan, Mohabaat Ali and Zeeshan Bhatti provided best possible facilities/assistance to media persons. In the past, the journalists had faced a lot of difficulties in performing their official duties, but this time, the arrangements were up to the mark.

The security personnel's inefficiency could have cost country dearly as despite mentioning time and again, the vehicles having parking stickers of Shahbaz Shrif Sports Complex were not thoroughly checked, which could cause any untoward incident. The terrorists could have taken advantage of the flexibility shown by the security stationed at main entrance of Shamsabad road, but no heed was paid. The tickets were blacked openly for the semifinal and final. Rs 100 ticket was sold at Rs 1000 to Rs 1500, but there was no one who could stop or keep check on black marketers.

The PCB must ensure next time they had detailed meetings with local admin before announcing the event and ensure their own staff stationed at the main gates.

A whopping 150 plus media accreditation cards were issued to strangers, who had nothing to do with journalism. The PCB must take into confidence genuine representative sports body of the twin cities to ensure no such repeat of things and event should go ahead smoothly.

The people of Rawalpindi and Islamabad deserve big round of applause for turning up in massive numbers, especially families arrived in quite few numbers. The pack to capacity crowd shows the world that Pakistanis are sports loving nation and the country is completely safe for all kinds of sporting activities. If they could turn up in such numbers for local event, then they must realize, if international team visits Pakistan, what could be on offer.

Overall, it was highly successful event and sponsors deserve big credit for investing in local events and the players must be given more benefits.