The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) will summon head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and Test captain Azhar Ali next week for getting round cricketing authorities and directly approaching Prime Minister Imran Khan to complain about the new domestic cricket structure.
Misbah, Azhar and Mohammad Hafeez met the prime minister on Wednesday in a bid to convince him that departmental cricket should be reinstated – much to the chagrin of PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani and CEO Wasim Khan, who were kept completely out of the loop and only attended the meeting upon receiving a last-minute invitation by the PM’s office.
Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez whp also accompanied Misbah and Azhar has escaped PCB’s ire since he is not a centrally contracted player. The head coach and Test skipper will now be called next week to the PCB’s headquarters to explain their actions.
Reportedly left red-faced at the meeting, Ehsan Mani and Wasim Khan, who as per sources “are unhappy and disappointed”, have now summoned the trio.
“It was a weird situation for Chairman Ehsan Mani and he did not like it,” the source said.
In the upcoming meeting, the PCB officials are expected to convey to Misbah and company regarding their reservations about their maneuver to bypass them and contact the board’s patron-in-chief themselves.
The source also said that a decision regarding any disciplinary action or show cause notices against Misbah-led delegation has yet to be taken.
It must be noted that PM Imran in the meeting, reiterated his stance that there is no place for departmental cricket in the domestic structure.
Khan believed that a new structure required time to develop and prosper while claiming that short-term difficulties will eventually lead to long-term gains.
“No place in the world has more talent than our country. Players from club cricket are directly brought into international teams. To bring this talent to the forefront, we need a better system. The more competitive the environment, the better players will come forward. We can see a similar system in Australia,” said Khan.
“I have explained to Azhar Ali and Mohammad Hafeez that there will be short-term difficulties with the new system but they will lead to long-term gains. Any system needs a bit of time to develop and prosper,” he added