Super flop show

By Mohsin Ali - March 7, 2019

Islamabad – Pakistan Super League-4 (PSL) was a super flop show, as far as UAE leg is concerned.

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman looked completely hapless and out of sorts, there was complete chaos as far as administrative or other issues are concern, it was highly surprising to witness that not only PCB Chairman, but MD and an army of PCB top management was present at UAE and enjoying perks and privileges.

One thing was clearly evident in the absence of Najam Sethi, PSL lose its charm and grip, the matter of the fact is only Najam Sethi was forced to tender resignation and rest of the PCB and PSL heads were very much there, but none of them looked capable to handle the mega event, which was in the previous three editions a forced to be reckon with, one can easily argue on number of Sethi’s decisions which backfired, but none could dare to point finger at his commitment and the way, he utilised all his good offices to make PSL not only Pakistan’s but international brand and his efforts for ensuring top players presence can’t also be ruled out.

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani had ample time, when he took over the reins of PCB to streamline things and ensure PSL remain in safe hands, but he just kept on hiring people at highly important posts and that too on hefty monthly salaries, besides TA/DAs and other incentives, Ehsan Mani without even consulting the government made huge announcement that PSL-4 matches will be held in Pakistan as per schedule and didn’t for a while pay heed towards the highly tense situation at the borders.

PSL was actively run by Indian vendors, from broadcasters to security and from stalls to support staff, it was all Indian nationals, the way thin crowds, as few expat, did turn up in the sheer love of Pakistan to witness matches, but they had to face lot of humiliation from the main entrance to the stands, such was the fuss that even stars like Wasim Akram, Imad Wasim, Muhamamd Aamir and others had to wait for quite some time, before they were allowed to enter the ground, even PCB governing board member Numan Butt, who is also the President of Sialkot Regional Cricket Association had to face lot of mantle and physical pain, as he along with his family had to wait for more than two hours, before he was allowed to enter the Dubai stadium and it was not done once, it happened at least thrice.

If PCB Chairman can’t look after governing board member, who had arrived in UAE on his personal expenditure, just to support Pakistan’s own brand PSL, then it is no secret that what commoners had to face, the pitches were highly substandard, an army of PCB officials, who were deputed at UAE, despite several articles and reminders and personal requests doesn’t moved and kept mum on ensuring sorting out issues, the lift of journalists block was out of order for atleast two days, but no one bothers to pay heed and journalists, who had travelled all the way from Pakistan to keep Pakistanis and international world updated had to wait for hours before they were allowed to use other gates.

The highly thin crowds were more than eye-opener for PCB and especially its chairman and MD, who were more keen to get media attention, rather than focussing on basic problems, had PCB staff used commonsense and at least allowed expats to enter the venue on general stands, things could have been quite different, spectators were waiting outside the Duabi, Sharjah Stadiums in quite numbers in a hope PCB announce free entry, as stands were almost fully empty, what is the purpose of keep sitting on passes, kept the stadium almost empty, but not let spectators in, PCB never earn from gate money, it was witnessed during Sharjah and Dubai matches that PCB staff was providing free passes to blue-eyeds, but they were not ready to let the commoners enter the stadium, it is open secret majority of Pakistanis working in UAE can’t afford to buy even general stands tickets, had PCB used commonsense and made entry free, stadiums were packed to capacity and it would have at least saved the face for PCB and hide its blunders.

PCB must understand one simple fact, UAE grounds attract international cricket just because of Pakistan, as it was Pakistan cricket team, who made UAE their second home due to terrorism menace, ICC headquarters, Asia Cup and other international cricket was due to this simple fact made possible in UAE, if PCB decides to shift PSL or their home series to some other place, it is crystal clear, UAE grounds will be empty and ICC headquarter might shift back to England, PCB rather than being humbled and get blackmailed, must stamp out their authority and ensure respect for their fans and Pakistani vendors should be given preference, Indians want war with Pakistan, then why we are facilitating Indians, there is still time left, PCB Patron Imran Khan should look into the sorry state of affairs of PCB and PSL and pas son clear-cut directives to Ehsan Mani and co, PM is the only hope, or else next year things could be much more worse.

By Mohsin Ali

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