The Pakistan cricket is un dergoing a rebuilding process and the Pakistan Cricket Board has yet to find quality players who could become permanent members of the national team. The dearth of the quality players in the country is a result of poor planning at the grass root level. The PCB has been running regional cricket coaching academies for four years, indeed a good effort, but the right place to concentrate is school and college level. In order to improve the standards of the game in the country, we should emphasize on the nursery of the game and it is a universal truth that schools and colleges are the best nurseries of sports in the world. The technical failure in senior players exists because they were not properly coached at the primary level. To put the game on the right track, we must look into the cricket affairs at the grass roots level. At the moment, we dont have proper system at the school level. Although cricket tournaments are announced and played every year at this level but are being run without seriousness and direction. It seems that these matches are played only as a formality to spend the sports funds albeit the way these funds are spent is anybodys guess. The organisers must realise that until and unless this class of players is groomed, we would not be able to produce cricketers of high quality. There are no proper coaching arrangements at this level and this is the stage where the basics of the game need to be taught. In this age, whatever a player learns, remains with him for years to come. If a correct technique is taught at this stage, what one needs is only practice that would produce perfection with the passage of time. In the early days of our cricket history, when the system at this level was in order, cricketers like Abdul Hafiz Kardar, Imtiaz Ahmad, Khan Muhammad, Wazir Muhammad, Gul Muhammad, Hanif Muhammad, and so many others played against foreign teams during their school and college life. In the 50s, players like Asif lqbal, Arif Butt, Azmat Rana, Iqbal Natha, Mian Bashir and so many others were looking to higher grade in cricket with progress in academic institutions. Cricket in colleges is also in shambles. There are no regular nets and if there are some, they are of no quality. As in the case of schools, when the cricket was played properly in colleges, players like Waqar Hasan, Mahmood Hussain, Khalid Hasan, Ijaz Butt, Zafar Altaf and so many others represented Pakistan while still in colleges. Our seniors used to say if you cannot represent Pakistan during college days, you have no chance of representing the national team after college. In those days the inter-college cricket tournament used to be of three days duration and the players had the opportunity of proving their mettle. Abdul Aziz of Islamia College took 10 wickets in an innings and then double centuries were scored by Govt College Lahore each year by Saeed Ahmad, Javed Burki, Humayun Zaman, Asad Qureshi and myself. The match of the year used to be played between Government College Lahore and Islamia College and it and it used to he played at the University ground Old Campus. It was like a festival but those days are now history. Now the competitive cricket starts from the district associations which are fully politicised. The bodies are elected by the vote so instead of promoting the game on merit, the elected people try to please their allied clubs. The players of these clubs are selected not on merit but on the basis of vote and electoral weight. Moreover, important appointments like captain, manager and coach are assigned to undeserving people and the criterion is again vote. This causes the deterioration of the standard of the game. The situation is not confined to one district but everywhere in the country. The same applies to the two biggest associations of the country, Lahore and Karachi. Once the national team used to be from these two cities but due to the lack of commitment of the associations, there are hardly any players from these metropolitans. Specifically speaking, more than half of the national side used to be selected from Lahore but now there is hardly any player to count from Lahore. The LCCA consists of three zones having 74 cricket clubs and many of them are bogus and are kept alive to secure votes in order to gain majority in elections. The same applies to other cities. One would not want to cross swords with any particular person, but this is a sad reality. It is a good sign that the PCB is concentrating on school level and had held summer coaching camps that would produce good results but the basic responsibility lies with the heads of the educational institutions. They have funds and the manpower and above all, thousands of young lads. If serious work is done at this level, we may put the glorious game of cricket on the right track again. The writer is a former international and World Cup umpire