Pakistan Cup being organized by the Pakistan Cricket Board has been marred by numerous controversies. These controversies range from selection of teams, sub-standard pitches and bad umpiring to poor response from the spectators.
The PCB management acted in a dictatorial manner to nominate regional captains who then selected their team managements and players as well. Teams were named after regions working under the PCB constitution but regional heads were not consulted or involved in the selection of teams. Every captain selected its 15 player squad from a pool of 150 players chosen through a draft draw on April 12th in Lahore.
This criteria has spoiled the spirit of competition among the regions featuring in the Event. For instance likes of Mohammed Amir, Ahmed Shehzad, Nasir Jamshed, Imad Wasim and Mohammed Sami are not actually representing their respective regions. The regional teams should have been filled with the players domiciled in their respective regions. Baluchistan, being a barren area for nurturing cricketers, could have been allowed the left over players of other regions to form its team. Such a competition could have been more entertaining and competitive.
Preparation of sub-standard pitches has also spoiled the glamour and grace of the Event. Holding of Pakistan Cup is part of Board’s preparation of Pakistan team’s England tour in June this year.
In world cricket sporting pitches are prepared for ODI’s to provide maximum entertainment to the spectators. But at Faisalabad low bounced pitches were made which made it difficult for the batsmen to execute their strokes. Even the newly appointed Chief Selector Inzamaul Haq has also expressed his disappointment over the pitches and urged upon the Board to prepare better pitches for the domestic competitions.
“How can I give out to Misbahul Haq who has just came to bat”, a controversial statement has been attributed to umpires Shozab Raza whose decision was questioned by veteran Younis Khan during the ongoing Event. The claim has come from a sports anchor whereas Younis, who has a reputation for making blunt statements, is keeping a discreet silence. However, Younis approached match referee to lodge his complain against Shozab but got no respond. Instead of contacting the PCB management about the attitude of match referee, Younis made a terrible blunder and quit the Event in protest. Younis has not left a positive impression on the future stars for whom he is supposedly a role model. He deserves a punishment that fits his crime.
Apart from Younis’s blunder umpiring standard in domestic competitions is pathetic. Appointment of blued eyed umpires has already spoiled the standard of our domestic competition. A non-cricket regional head Shakil Shaihk heads the PCB umpiring committee. How can we expect improvement in umpiring standard in his presence?
The PCB also blundered to fix tickets for the spectators to watch their stars in action. This experience backfired amid poor attendance in all matches. The entry should have been free in the general enclosures. Further poor lights arrangements also spoiled the standard of the Event.
The PCB management, already on the ventilator amid Panama Leaks scandal faced by their Patron, has not learned any lesson from defeats in Asia Cup and Twenty20 World Cup and only obliging their favourits to enjoy a last ride.