ISLAMABAD   -   Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has set all rules and regulations aside and terminated services of successful domestic and international coaches including Sabih Azhar, Taimoor Azam and Malik Khurram Awan.

Interestingly, all these coaches were not given any showcause notices nor have any allegation against them, but they were shown the door purely on political base as in PCB’s sense, they were close to former PCB governing board member Shakil Shaikh.

Sabih became the victim just because he is thought to be close relative of Shakil Shaikh, but the reality is completely different. He is a highly successful coach of the country and has just became Master coach after passing the PCB Level-IV umpiring course and was leading candidate for PCB’s best coach of the year award, as he finished number one in the PCB evaluation course last year.

The PCB has invested millions of rupees on these coaches. If the board has any official issue with Sabih and Taimoor, they should have issued showcause notices, or if their performance was not satisfactory, then why PCB invited Sabih Azhar for Level-IV course, why Ali Zia, Mudassar Nazar and others were full of praise for Sabih’s undisputed hard work.

Sabih has recently helped Peshawar become crowned champions of Pakistan Cup. Besides he has helped not only Rawalpindi Region, Pakistan Under-19 and Pakistan U-25 but also Peshawar Region to win Qauid-e-Azam Trophy as a head coach. He also worked with Pakistan women cricket tem as head coach but his only crime was that he is thought to be close relative of Shakil Shaikh.

PCB high-command considers Sabih and others leaking sources of the board’s secret information to Shakil Shaikh, which is absolutely rubbish. Same applies on Taimoor Azam and Khurram, as Khurram was transferred recently to Rawalpindi from Lahore, as he was considered close to PCB Governing Board suspended member Nauman Butt. If these are austerity measures taken by PCB, then highly–paid used bullets, who have spent their entire lives in the board, should have been shown the door to save precious money.

At one end, the PCB top brass including chief selector and irrelevant persons are enjoying joy-rides, claiming hefty TA/DAs, free accommodation and countless international tours, but on the other hand, people like Sabih, who have spent their entire lives on cricket grounds, both as first class player and then as a reputed domestic coach, are being made victim of PCB politics. He has matchless contributions to Pakistan cricket by producing international stars including Sohail Tanvir, Awais Zia, Hammad Azam, Shadab Khan and others, so he deserves much-better treatment from PCB.

It is high time when the Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is PCB patron-in-chief, should take notice of the injustice and not only order restoration of Sabih, Tamioor and Khurram, but also take strict action against all those, who have done this huge injustice without any reason.

When this scribe contacted a PCB official, he, on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the sacking has nothing to do with professionalism rather it was done purely on political circumstances. The PCB has enough evidence of their involvement with Shakil Shaikh.