They say, well begun is half the work done. But it looked like the organizing of Pakistan Cricket Board’s OSCARS – the annual award ceremony held in Karachi – was ill-planned and mis-managed.
It began with mismanagement and ended on the same note. It seemed that PCB hierarchy wanted a ceremony in haste before the new PTI government sacks them. That obviously made the PCB”s OSCARS a flop show.
To begin with the overflow of guests in the five star hotel’s hall smacked of the poorly-managed guests list. Some of the big shots of the corporate world were sharing seats while a few were silently and distastefully sitting behind on small desks.
When the event managers BBCL – surfaced after a gap of nine years and on the recommendations of PCB COO Subhan Ahmed – admitted the count was 700 in a capacity of 500 – it became evident that it will be hunky dory sort of a function.
When it was announced that dinner will be served before the ceremony starts, an overflow of guests rushed towards the Dining hall. Some top guns were clearly upset at being stopped near a rope. Some guests had plates but no food while some had to wait in the queue longer than their liking. In the end some of them left without eating.
Once the ceremony started it was felt that some top level players were missing. Either they were not invited properly or they stayed away for obvious reasons of change at the PCB. Legends like Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Younis Khan were conspicuous by their absence. Apart from Inzamam the other three live in the city, not so far from the venue.
Former captain Zaheer Abass also missed the event as he was in UK on some personal work. Stars like Iqbal Qasim and Mohsin Khan. One former fast bowler Rashid Khan was sent a totally different invitation card bearing a different venue and date!
After two concise speeches from the sponsors comes the event manager, Pervez Iqbal who exposed himself and his company for not being in the fray for nine years and got the assignment only because of Subhan Ahmed’s recommendations.
“I can’t thank you much for giving me this great opportunity,” said Iqbal. “We were out of the equation for nine years and the marketing director Nyla Bhatti did not know us but showed faith in us.”
It almost summed up the compromises PCB made on this function!
The idea of having a memorabilia auction in between the announcement of awards also proved an unwise exercise. In fact auction left a bad taste as the attendees did not look interested in bidding. As a result some of the equipments of the players were only bought by the players themselves or the onus fell on the Quetta Gladiator owner Nadeem Omar. A wise idea would have been to hold an auction in UAE where the presence of more affluent people would have fetched more charity.
When the awards were announced no one knew what the criterion that was followed. If announced elsewhere, it should have been announced during the event. There were no nominations announced and names were announced absurdly.
While there was the best Test bowler, there was no Test bastman award! There was only best Twenty20 batsman award but no bowler. While there were encouraging awards for women cricketers, disabled and blind cricketers, there was no award for Under-19 players or a Lifetime award!
PCB has a team of workers. In fact it is the only cricket board where there are more than 900 employees. But, sadly, it doesn’t have a dozen men who can do proper work. They only have people who can spoil a good occasion like an annual awards ceremony.