Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Sb.
Prime Minister of Pakistan
اسلام و علیکم
As it may be already in your knowledge that in all the formats of the game of cricket i.e. T20, ODI and Tests, our cricket team’s performance in international matches are gradually slipping from bad to worse; and now we are respectively ranked at 7th, 8th and 6th positions.
However, the most horrible reality is that the 1992 World Cup ODI champion team, will most probably, now can’t enter into the 2019 ODI World Cup competition, without playing the qualifying round.
In this regard, the alarming issue is not just the defeats of our men’s, ladies and Under 19 teams (which lost to minnows Afghanistan’s U19 team in December 2016, by 21 runs in Asian U19 ODI championship), but the huge margin of defeats, like our team getting out in 40-45 overs and losing Test matches virtually in 2 1/2 days.
Here, although, the PCB tried to stem the rot by:
~ Bringing in high profile and highly paid coaches.
~ Appointing highly paid senior cricketers at the helm of NCA and selection committees.
~ Increasing the remuneration and travel facilities of the players.
Yet, the PCB did not address the main issue; mainly, because the entire set up of the PCB has failed to correctly diagnose the real disease, afflicting our cricketing structure; and also because, no one in the PCB, wants to touch the hornets nest of the domestic cricketing structure.
Moreover, some wise men also wrongly think that National Cricket Academies (NCA) are the factories to produce world class players. Whereas, NCA’s are high performance centres of excellence, to refine and polish the players. NCA’s can not and can never produce players, who are born at school level cricket; and trained/groomed in the clubs and at various higher levels of domestic cricket.
The mother of our problem is our domestic structure, which is VERY BADLY afflicted by the greed, politics, nepotism and favouritism.
The PCB’s flawed system is standing and depending on votes of it’s affiliated clubs, districts and regions. Hence, the status quo fully suits the PCB.
The domestic structure is the production house of players. If we have to compete at world level, our domestic cricket should be made HIGHLY competitive, which can only be done by drastically reducing the number of teams in the first class competitions; wherein, the players will have to put in extraordinary hard efforts to enter into a first class team.
In fact, the entry at first class level should require so much efforts that after playing first class cricket in Pakistan, a player, when he enters the international level, should not feel any difference in domestic and international games. Otherwise, if a player is stranger at the very competitive international level, he will take a lot of time to settle down and perform for the country.
To achieve this high level of domestic standards, the PCB should invest maximum money on infrastructures, producing world level umpires, high standard of playing equipments particularly international level cricket balls, increasing remuneration of players, upgrading travelling, boarding and lodging facilities etc.
Mr. Prime Minister, I have written these facts and solution of our cricketing decline only after years of my discussions with scores of very senior cricket players, administrators, media persons and journalists, who have a consensus on the need of re-vamping of our entire domestic cricketing structure, which is currently only serving the vested interests of few persons; and also killing the abundant talent of the budding cricketers of Pakistan.
Concluding, it must be understood that the current PCB and its decision makers are neither capable nor they want to change the domestic structure radically. If my this statement was not correct then since 2013, things would have much improved. What the PCB top notches have always been doing in the past and will also repeat in the future, to change the captain or reshuffle few personnel here and there, for the sake of cosmetic change, so that the status quo carries on, at the cost of the prime national interest.
As such, Mr. Prime Minister, if you really want to see Pakistan’s flag flying high, in cricketing arenas of the world, for once; bring in a team of those committed and dedicated persons, who can give you a written commitment, to the break the status quo, by bringing in tangible revolutionary changes in the domestic cricketing structure and overall system of the PCB.
Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad