Hopefully I am completely wrong and if so I am truly sorry. But what is bothersome that in spite of the fact that we are passing the hat around through the ICC for funding because of revenue losses suffered as there are no matches played in Pakistan we continue to spend lavishly be it on entertainment. But we did get our share of US$25 million as “hosting fees” when the matches of the 2011 World Cup were snatched away from us. The funding item was taken up at the ICC meeting in Cape Town and a Committee formed to look into it.
Giles Clarke a “sympathizer” of Pakistan cricket is the Head of this Committee. It seems to be the same body which was formed under Clarke eight years ago to look at ways and means to bring international cricket back to Pakistan. No meeting of this Committee has hitherto been convened and Clarke has not to my knowledge stepped on the soil of Pakistan since.
The statement of Anurag Thakur the BCCI Chairman that the question of India playing cricket against Pakistan does not arise or words to that effect must have also come up for discussion in the Cape Town conference and hard-hitting replies given, but there are as yet no reports about that. Has that been brushed under the rug yet again? Pakistan should take a strong stand. It must be recalled that India has not played a bilateral “home” series against Pakistan since 2007. India has not even paid a penny to Pakistan for three ODIs and two Twenty/20 which we played there in 2012.
At the moment PCB’s Media Rights are in the hands of Indian Companies including Ten-Sports. PCB unlike other Boards does not even have their nominees on the directorial, production, technical, camera or commentating panels. One cannot imagine the damage this arrangement is causing to Pakistan Cricket’s cause. Only those who have been involved can tell. This can be checked out from facts and figures to witness if I lie. I have the highest esteem and regard for Waqar Younis. He is a thorough gentleman, polite, well mannered, a good friend and a jolly good fellow. But it seems a bit odd that the Pakistan’s Head Coach should be sitting with the IPL panel even before his resignation has been accepted; and then the Indian based Broadcasting company, who dictates terms to the PCB, should acquire his services as a commentator for the Pakistan v WI series. Unethical and really unfair on Waqar. He is praising his successor who has dethroned him and the players about whom he has written reports, some with adverse remarks. There should be like in many other fields (such as the legal profession) a “cooling off” period. A person who has been in a position of authority may commentate as “neutral” but not in a match involving a country/team for which he has been the head honcho or played at the highest level. Some period, say two to three years, should lapse.
Multiplicity of jobs is also against the principles of Management. There are case where personnel on the pay roll of the PCB are doing other jobs/assignments. PCB’s Academy coaches are being sent with Teams (so who is minding the shop at home?). I will not go into details or name names but there are examples galore. PCB connected personnel should also not be involved with League Franchises. It is a clear case of conflict of interest. I will quote only one example: Waqar Younis when he was Head Coach of Pakistan did not become part of PSL Franchises. But I am told that Mickey Arthur is.
Indian Cricket and Anurag Thakur the BCCI Chairman are having their own problems after the Supreme Court of India’s verdict (pronounced by the Chief Justice of India His Lordship T. S. Thakur) that the BCCI should implement the recommendations of the Lodha Commission (Mr Lodha is also a former Chief Justice of India). Consequently BCCI had to postpone their Media Rights Bidding because of this report. Anurag has also threatened that because of the difficulties India may not be able to take part in the ICC Champions Trophy in England. This is a clear case of putting undue pressure – good try. Pakistan Cricket also needs a Commission and then a Supreme Court verdict for its implementation. Hopefully things may improve.
On the other hand full marks to PSL for going ahead and holding their “draft ceremony” in Dubai. Why Dubai when the first one was so successfully held in Lahore? Perhaps the reason was that Pakistan and West Indian Teams were both in UAE. Fair enough. Though I was not there I am informed by reliable sources that the “draft” was also a fund raiser. Good strategy. If the tickets or as we call them “plates” in fund raising were priced at say $1000/= each and 750 “plates” were sold we are talking of total revenue of $750000/= Take away the expenses and we are left with a profit of anywhere between $400000 to $500000 or this could have been UAE Dirhams. Even then it is substantial. Well played.
The “pink ball” Test in Dubai was the 400th played by Pakistan. It almost went unnoticed and unsung. It could have been made a big occasion. Former captains and icons could have been invited as also other stakeholders; and members of the ICC (after all it was held in Dubai); leading members of UAE Government and those of Pakistan. Once again this could have been a fund raiser and with ICC’s blessings (they are already sympathetic to PCB’s poor cash health) PCB should have sold tickets for watching the game and also have tea/supper with some of the players. I could go on, but my point is that PCB as usual were lackadaisical.
India celebrated their 500th Test with pomp, song and dance and made it a significant occasion and memorable event. It was held at Green Park Kanpur on 22nd September. BCCI invited and honoured their former captains including Ajit Wadekar, Azharuddin, K. Srikanth, Dilip Vengsarkar, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Anil Kumble, Sachin Tendulkar, M.S Dhoni, Virat Kohli and the New Zealand Captain Kane Williamson. They were presented with mementoes and shawls by the Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik.