A talented leg spinner Imran Tahir, frustrated by PCB Selection Committee, finally left the country to seek a place in South Africa cricket. Nepotism and corruption have marred selection of young players in national team. While the sitting Chairman of PCB cannot be blamed for massive incompetence, nepotism and corruption that haunts national cricket, the same cannot be said about his predecessors.

Complaints and allegations by cricketers that key members of former Selection Committee had allegedly demanded bribes from players have gone unheard, because those involved enjoyed immense political clout. Does it not qualify an inquiry or investigation within PCB that fast bowler like Irfan is selected, who is in his thirties, almost at the end of his career?

PCB is hostage to nexus of powerful former cricketers, few of them with links to notorious ‘Betting Mafia’, who would rather have their kith and kin selected in national team in violation of merit. For too long now PCB, because of huge financial reserves and perks has become an organization hostage to political appointments, by ruling elite for whom national pride and honor are secondary. The team management that accompanied our three players, Salman Butt, Asif and Amir, convicted for match fixing, on foreign trips, were as much responsible for gross indiscipline as them.

Photographic evidence proves that members of Team Management accompanying national team not only knew about the bookie, but accompanied the players to parties and shopping trips hosted by the mafia. A forensic audit of bank accounts held by them or their family will prove their involvement. Those who have been at the helm in PCB, especially members of Selection Committee, Discipline Committee, Team Managers etc, (with few exceptions) for past fifteen years, should have been held accountable and banned for life, but political connections and links with powerful ‘Betting Mafia’, has saved them from accountability, with devastating impact for our game. It is time professional educated cricket players, with management skills, who enjoy credibility with ICC be placed at the helm in PCB, so that team selection is made on merit, talent hunt promoted and discipline enforced.

ALI MALIK,

Lahore, October 24.