ISLAMABAD - Former star batsman Basit Ali has demanded accountability of all the persons sitting at the helm of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) including national team players saying taking the culprits to task is the only way to save Pakistan cricket.

Talking to The Nation, Basit said: “First of all, I present myself for accountability and want across the board accountability especially against those, who brought so much embarrassment and pain for the entire Pakistan nation. People have set aside their important work and just watched cricket and kept on praying for green caps’ success, but these players not only let themselves down, but also the prayers of millions.”

Basit added that the ego issue of coach and players was the main problem with Pakistan team. “The grouping in the team is also one of the main reasons behind the national team downfall. It is black day for Pakistan cricket while the players also spoilt Pakistan Day celebrations, just because of differences with each other.”

Basit said Umar Akmal made world record of playing 26 deliveries scoring 24 runs and not hitting a single boundary and same was the case with other batsmen except Sharjeel Khan. “It was new world record set, a team playing 32 deliveries without hitting a single boundary. It speaks volumes about their approach. How on earth it was possible that some of the finest hitters looked completely hapless and couldn’t hit a single boundary in 32 balls. It means something was wrong and it was the team management’s duty to keep a close eye on the off and on ground happenings, which they completely failed to do.

“If I was the chief selector, I could have long resigned. The persons, sitting in the PCB for the last 20 years or so and had done nothing but claiming huge salaries, should be shown the door or else be prepared for more miseries and grief,” he added.

He said he was completely disagreed with Imran Khan’s suggestion of reducing the first class teams’ strength to only six. “It would have highly negative impact on Pakistan cricket. Imran doesn’t know the ground realities and never travelled through train or busses, so how could he know the pain and agony of the players, who have to meet both ends. If this idea is implemented, let me assure you all, the players will commit suicides and cricket will be dead in Pakistan. I strongly recommend department and regional cricket should be separated without any further delays.”

He asserted that ruthless accountability from top to bottom was the need of the hour, as without overhauling the system, the nation only could expect miracles.

Basit said: “I strongly urge Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, who is also PCB patron, to act in the best interest of the country and cricket by removing all those incompetent persons, who have inflicted a huge damage on not only Pakistan cricket but they are also responsible for destroying the careers of a number of great players, who could have still played major role in helping green caps scale down new heights.”

“Without accountability and action, desired results cannot be gained. In my personal opinion, Rashid Latif should be given important assignment, as he is the right man to take Pakistan cricket back to old glory days. He always stands on principles and never bows down under unwanted undue pressure. I also strongly recommend Andy Flower should be hired as head coach and will be given at least one-year time to work and then see the results,” he added.

“It must be crystal clear to everyone that no one is above cricket and sports. Pakistan is blessed with so much talent, but the only need of the hours is to provide them a platform and groom them well under safe hands and provide them proper chances to prove their mettle and then see the results,” Basit concluded.

It is pertinent to mention here that Basit is the most successful domestic coach in the country with having the credit of winning Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. He is presently best in the lot and can be given some important assignment in the board. The PCB top brass must act or be ready for the public reaction.