Pakistan’s ODI ranking has plummeted to number 9. From the looks of things, we don’t seem to have any strategy to repair the damage done – all that appears to be prevailing over PCB is its short term goals and dwindling revenues. Instead of making plans for one series to the next, PCB should make long term plans and restore the standing of the beautiful game in country. For that we need managers and leaders who have vision and a futuristic approach. More importantly, who still have the drive and energy to lead PCB. Our chairman Mr. Shahryar M. Khan is 82 and Mr. Najam Sethi is 68. They have not surrounded themselves with the youth either. Recently, Mr Sharyar M. Khan announced the 75-year-old Intekhab Alam as manager of the national team for I-forget-how-manyth time. If only Yawar Saeed were alive today, PCB would have definitely considered appointing him as the new manager. I am glad we don’t believe in resurrection of dead.

Evidently, there was no thought process involved in the appointments of all these officials who are way past their prime. Even though the captain and the coach resigned, the selection committee was sacked and a new plan was being chalked out, the invincible Intikhab Alam has stayed on where he has been since the last three decades. Our cricket board, more than ever before, needs new generation of officials who have played the modern game and understand its nuances.

Chairman of PCB, Mr Shahryar M. Khan, three years ago, wrote a book Cricket Cauldron in which he reprimanded former captain of Pakistan, the great Inzamam-ul-Haq. He argued that due to growing influence of religion on Inzi, his focus from cricket was diverted. Mr Shahryar M. Khan criticized Inzi's intransigent attitude which damaged the team’s morale during his tenure of captaincy. After courageously berating Inzi, three years later, Mr. Sharyar Khan appointed him as the chief selector of the national team. Some would suggest it was a great move given Inzi’s cricket stature and knowledge of the game. But if Inzi’s focused has wavered and he was a bad influence on the team as a leader, then why has he been given this major role by the same person who criticized him bitterly in the past. We can’t deal with contradictions. Not on the highest level. Regardless of the merits of the decision to appoint Inzi as the chief selector, we need a clear head at the helm of cricket to take our cricket forward.

The choice of Micky Arthur spells out more contradictions and restricted vision. In the past, Arthur has had has issues with H. Gibbs and G. Smith during his tenure as South African coach. In 2013, he was sacked by Cricket Australia because of the Homework Gate scandal which revealed his intractability. He was fired by Cricket Australia only a few days before Ashes 2013. Arthur has not exactly enjoyed a warm history with Pakistani Cricket. In 2010, Arthur alleged that an ODI between Pakistan and South Africa in 2007 had “a strong suspicion of match-fixing in it” when Inzi was the captain. The PCB did not take too compassionately and slapped him with a legal notice. Little was heard about that affair (as usual) thereafter, but six years later, Arthur has been appointed as Pakistan's head coach by our Board. The Board has not just placed players in the most awkward of situations having to work under someone who had accused the national team of matching fixing before, but also, the chief selector who now needs to cultivate a working rapport with Arthur. Then there is also a language barrier between Arthur and Pakistani players. We have a team whose English speaking skills are below par including our T20 captain. And this generation of players unlike the previous generations has done very little to groom themselves. Would the players remain comfortable interacting with the coach? It is a cause of concern for all cricket fans.

Appointing Inzi as a chief selector is probably one of the best things done lately by PCB. He’s a man with high integrity and is not a job saver like his predecessors. His proposal of including coach and captain’s suggestions in the selection is a welcome change. But cricket fans have some serious reservations over the credentials of his crew. Do they possess the ability to identify the raw talent? Do they not have any baggage? If Wasti was so impressive as a selector then why was he removed from the same position back in 2014? While has everyone been critical of ex selector, Azhar Khan who only played 1 Test match. PCB went ahead to appoint Wasim Haider who hasn’t actually played a single test for the national team; now tasked to select players above his pay grade.

Recently Ahmed Shahzad was axed from the probable players for a vital tour of England purely on disciplinary grounds. It’s a good sign that finally PCB is taking actions on discipline but justice should not only be done, it should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done. My point is: what is the criteria of discipline in the eyes of PCB? The administration needs to be very cautious while determining the standards of discipline. For instance, Younis Khan, who had very little regard for the disciplinary guidelines of PCB, left the on-going Pakistan Cup in the middle and then instantly sent an apology which was accepted straight away. On the other hand, Ahmed Shahzad’s apology was turned down by PCB without even disclosing grounds for his exclusion in the first place. You need to have one yardstick for all the players. No one, regardless of the scores behind him, should be first among equals!