The annual general meeting of the Pakistan Cricket Board, held in Lahore,s Qaddafi Stadium on Tuesday, has shown aversion to the International Cricket Council,s plea for democratisation of boards in the cricketing world. The ICC has given all the boards a period till March next year to hold elections to choose their game,s chiefs. The penalty for not doing so may lead to losing the ICC affiliation. The reason for disagreement with the ICC decision, as surfaced in the meeting, was that the Board patron, President Asif Ali Zardari, did not want the ICC to interfere in the ,internal affairs of the game in Pakistan. For all practical purposes, the PCB gesture amounts to refusal of correcting the structure of domestic cricket in Pakistan.
There is practically no domestic cricket in Pakistan and most representatives of provincial and regional cricket are nominated by the PCB to strengthen the board chairperson and his chosen office-holders. This autocracy in cricket has cost heavily particularly the absence of the game in schools, universities and districts where there is no club cricket causing a great dearth of potential at all levels. Although all the Board chiefs have been nominated by the head of state as the game,s patron since 1948, they made domestic cricket as special focus of attention. Club cricket has always been their primary concern. As a result,
the country produced some of the finest cricketers who made an indelible mark of theirs on the game the world over. Those days seem to be over now as the game is at the lowest in the country. There is no reason why a representative elected organisational structure cannot be raised where elected people at all tiers rid the game of patronage, manoeuvreing and conspiracies and make it independent. This will certainly be healthy for the game. The PCB should listen to the sane ICC voice and democratise cricket from top to bottom.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Cricket Board has virtually decided not to send BD team to support the PCB effort to bring international cricket back to Pakistan for the reason that Indians have agreed to host the team. No foreign cricket team has visited Pakistan since terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan players in March 2009. BCB chairperson Mustafa Kamal visited Pakistan to have his assessment of security in Pakistan and went back ,satisfied,. But back home he gave indications that security issue is still alive. What happened in fact is that India extended the invitation and Kamal agreed. This means that India is hampering the revival of international series in Pakistan. The PCB has, in the meantime, threatened BCB that its cricketing relations with Pakistan would be in serious jeopardy in case the commitment of sending the BD team was not honoured.