ISLAMABAD - Blunders and irregularities marred the National T20 Cup 2016 being played here at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.

The sources have confirmed to this scribe that a huge blunder was witnessed during the toss between Lahore Whites and Lahore Blues, when match referee Nadeem Arshad tossed the coin instead of one captain doing so. When it was pointed out to him by several umpires and other responsible persons, the referee continued to defend his decision but later, he let the captain toss the coin.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) continued with its policy of showering countless blessings on blue-eyed persons, as only 11 umpires were hired for 59 National T20 matches and most interestingly, highly experienced and well-reputed umpire Tahir Shah was completely ignored for even a single assignment for the entire event while another senior and former ICC elite panel umpire Riazuddin was only allocated only nine matches. On the other hand, Shozaib, Ahsan Raza and junior Asif Yaqoob were handed over 12 matches each. Asif has hardly umpired in top level matches, but due to his close connections with chairman tournament organising committee Shakil Shaikh, he managed to get such number of matches.

The sources also informed this scribe that it was PCB rule that local players didn’t allow to reside at team hotel, which were only meant for outstation teams, but powerful PCB governing body member Shakil Shaikh, who is also president of Islamabad Cricket Association (ICA) for the third term in running, has been violating all set rules and regulation. His son Arsal Shaikh, who is drafted by Lahore Whites for the national event, has been residing with Lahore Whites team at Hotel Hill View.

The sources revealed that Kamran Akmal was named as Lahore Whites captain, but he was not even consulted prior to the players’ drafting and was not even informed about his captaincy. The sources said after playing in two matches, Lahore Whites player Shahid Yousaf left for Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj and Zimbabwean international player Sikandar Raza, who is from Pakistani origin, will replace him in the remaining matches, as the PCB and Zimbabwe Cricket Board have agreed in principle to allow Sikandar play in Pakistan domestic T20 matches.

The sources said Kamran was fined half of his match fee for violating the PCB code of conduct of having two logos on his batting pads, which was totally baseless as it was not proved through any evidence that he violated any rule. He played next match with the same pads, but no fine was imposed. It was for the very first time in Kamran’s 19-year long career that he was fined in a domestic match.

It is high time when PCB chairman Shaharyar M Khan must seek explanation from incompetent board officials. A number of irregularities have been reported in national media on daily basis regarding poor arrangements, mishandling journalists and obliging blue-eyed with both hands, but not a single action has been taken yet. Shakil Shakih’s sons are free to sit in chairman box along with their friends while journalists have no access to even chief selector and other selection committee members.

The National T20 Cup, being staged at the Pindi Stadium, is totally a flop show. It was all just because of wrong decision of Shakil Shaikh, who is reluctant to issue general enclosures passes to the masses but glad in obliging his near and dear ones. It is hoped that the PCB chairman will finally take decisions in the best interest of cricket and seek explanation from the chairman tournament organising committee.