PCB to call Misbah, Azhar’s explanation for holding meeting with PM

PCB to call Misbah, Azhar’s explanation for holding meeting with PM

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to call an explanation of its head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq and Test captain Azhar Ali for bypassing the top management to arrange a meeting with the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan over a policy matter of the board pertaining to abolish the departmental cricket.

The said meeting was held at the Prime Minister House, Islamabad on Wednesday.

A PCB official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that both Misbah and Azhar were contractual employees of the PCB and both have been called for a meeting with the PCB top management headed by Ehsan Mani to give their explanation for their action next week. No exact date for the meeting has been set up.

Though former Pakistan T20 captain Mohammad Hafeez who was a member of the Pakistan team on the recent tour of England, was the third member of the trio who met PM Imran, his explanation will not be sought because he is not on the central contract list of the PCB.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has been a vocal supporter of regional cricket as opposed to departmental cricket and after becoming Prime Minister in 2018, it was on his categorical instructions that the PCB abolished departmental cricket, rendering thousands of cricketers jobless.

As the debate over the injudicious decision of abolishing departmental cricket is really heating up and is being discussed in the cricketing circles across the country, hundreds of former and current players are beginning to voice their concerns over the move. This was the main reason that persuaded the trio to convey their sentiments to the prime minister but they were snubbed by him in the short meeting.

However, it appears that the PCB may not issue any show-cause notice to the players as it will just be a meeting in which the PCB would convey its reservations over the trio’s decision of breaching the chain of command, despite being contractual employees of the Board.

It is also being felt by cricketing circles that while Misbah, Azhar and Hafeez went to the PM for a genuine cause, no one in the PCB has the guts or the authority to say even a single word about the abolishment of departmental cricket though they very well realise it is not a wise move by any logic.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2020

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