ISLAMABAD-Former chief selector Abdul Qadir has said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should nominate former cricketers names for the regions’ top slot in the same way, he has nominated the names of two governing board members.

Talking to The Nation, Qadir said that non-cricketers Shaharyar Khan and Najam Sethi are running the PCB affairs, while the past greats, who had played out their hearts for the country, are left out in the cold. “It is very strange that the PCB patron nominated two governing board members and also appointed the PCB chairman, while the regions are being run on completely opposite direction, as their heads are elected and not a single Test cricketer is heading the regions.

“Why not the regions are being run by former Test players and what is wrong in nominating them to run the regional cricket affairs? If it is done so, it will surely help the PCB and players, as highly powerful regional presidents, who have nothing to do with cricket, are dictating their terms while the past greats are not even allowed to visit the grounds. Why such discrimination is being supported by the PCB,” he questioned.

Qadir lamented that the PCB never bothered to invite cricket legends for the functions held in the honour of the Champions Trophy winning team, while their families, near and dear ones and blue-eyed persons were free to attend the functions, which was a great injustice with former greats.

“I support cash and other incentives for the players, as they have made the country proud, but what was the purpose of awarding Rs 10 million to the chief selector, while only Rs 1 million to other selection committee members. My question is that was the only selected by Inzamam? Everyone knows every selector equally selected the side, so all should have given same respect and equal prize money.

“When I was chief selector, I was paid only Rs 200,000, while the PCB has been splashing out Rs 1.2 million salary to Inzamam, who was given Rs 10 million by then PCB chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf upon his retirement and now he was once again awarded Rs 10 million from the PM. When my selected squad won the World T20 in 2009, nobody bothered to even invite me for the functions, cash awards were far cry,” he added.

The former great said it is quite strange that Test cricketer Inzamam, with the help of other chief selectors, finalises the squads but it was approved PCB chairman, who also appoint captain of the teams. What a joke! Inzamam is a big name bit what Shaharyar and Sethi have done for the country and on what grounds and reasons, non-cricketing brains are ruling the roost?

“The players, who have given their lives to cricket, are sitting at home. Why greats like Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas and Sarfraz Nawaz are not invited by the PCB? Why is this disrespect being rendered to the former cricketers? Usman Wahla, Aun and other non-relevant persons were showered with cash incentives, but the PCB doesn’t have any space for legends. We are actual stakeholders of the PCB, so let us run the board to ensure international cricket return to Pakistan and let us safeguard the rights of players,” he added.

Qadir said the PCB is giving highly rough treatment to past cricketers by paying only Rs 25,000, Rs 35,000 and Rs 45,000 to them, which, I feel, is not even close to what they deserve. “It is my challenge to Sethi and Shaharyar to run their kitchens with such meager, or otherwise make this amount more respectable.

“Look at India, as they are paying Rs 250,000 Indian rupees to Ravi Shastri, who has not played more cricket than us, while the BCCI also pays Indian Rs 25,000 to first class players. I opposed the idea of central contracts, when I was chief selector, as the players have jobs and they earn millions through playing leagues and advertisements, and suggested that the PCB should look after the former greats and first class cricketers, who have done a lot for Pakistan cricket,” he added.  “Sarfraz Ahmad is a good captain and I hope like Champions Trophy, he will bring more success to Pakistan cricket. It is my request to the prime minister to let the former cricketers run the board to ensure cricket remain on right track,” Qadir concluded.