Miandad, Islahuddin, Jahangir opposes PM’s vision to abolish departments

By Our Correspondent - April 27, 2019

Karachi: Three legendary figures in Pakistan’s sports history, former cricket captain Javed Minadad, former hockey skipper Islahuddin and Squash legend Jahangir Khan have categorically rejected the decision by another iconic cricketer and incumbent Prime Minister, Imran Khan to abolish departmental cricket.

Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Saturday, Javed Miandad, a close aide of PM Imran Khan  during his cricket career as both played with each other during more than 15 years, said that he is not against Imran Khan’s led PTI government, and prays for his success but, Miandad feels, Imran Khan’s decision to abolish departmental cricket teams is not appropriate in Pakistan’s culture which is different from England, Australia and South Africa where the state take responsible of citizens’ wellbeing.

“In Pakistan the problems are socio economic, one person earns a living for the entire family. Hundreds of first class cricketers and other would lose jobs and a number of families would suffer”, Miandad said.

“A lot of sportspersons including us – Miandad, Islahuddin and Jahangir – would not have reached at the top level if departments were not financially supportive. If there was no PIA, I am sure there would be Jahangir Khan”, the legendary batsman added.

Miandad said Prime Minister Imran Khan himself played county cricket in England for monetary gains. “Were we crazy to play there? No! we played because of the money.”, Miandad opined.

“Imran Khan should ask his voters about this decision. I am sure even his party supporters will endorse my viewpoint on this matter”, Miandad said.

According to reports, the Prime Minister Imran Khan, also the Patron in Chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has told the chairman Ehsan Mani to abolish departments’ role in cricket structure and restrict the domestic first-class tournaments to six provincial teams only.

Meanwhile, two times hockey World Cup winner, Islahuddin Siddiqui said that the Prime Minister Imran Khan should reconsider his strategy.

”I proudly say I am a product of a department. Pakistan’s successful stints in cricket, hockey or Squash are mainly because of departments”, Islahuddin said.

Another towering personality Jahangir Khan also echoed the same sentiments and said departments provide jobs and infrastructure as well as nurture athletes.

“If all departments are closed instantly one can imagine where our sports and sportspersons would end in days to come”, said the record 10-time British Open winner.

“We are not here for personal gains, neither our children are professional sportspersons nor they wanted any benefit from the PTI government”, Jahangir Khan added.

Former Test cricketer Saleem Jaffar, who was the head coach of Habib Bank Limited (HBL) cricket team, was also present at the press conference.

HBL, one is the oldest departments, recently disbanded its cricket team, leaving dozens of cricketers jobless.

By Our Correspondent

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