Pakistan Prime Minister and World Cup winning captain Imran Khan on Wednesday expressed concerns over the preparations of the national team for the upcoming ICC World Cup in England.
The cricketer-turned politician also expressed reservations over the selection process of the national team during a meeting with the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Ehsan Mani and other top officials of the board in Islamabad.
The 66-year-old, who had led Pakistan to their only World Cup title in 1992, asked the PCB chief to ensure that the selection process of national players is revamped and the best possible team is sent to the World Cup.
The national selectors and team management have come in for criticism for resting six key players from the ongoing series against Australia.
Besides giving rest to captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, Hassan Ali, Babar Azam, Hassan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi, the selectors and team management also decided to send back allrounder Faheem Ashraf after the second match.
“Mani assured the Prime Minister that the board is making all efforts to ensure that the selection process for the national team gets better,” a PCB official said.
While at other side, Prime Minister Imran Khan rejected all plans proposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board to improve the domestic cricket structure in a meeting held on Wednesday.
The premier chaired a meeting attended by chairman Ehsan Mani, Secretary IPC Akbar Durrani, and other officials.
The members reviewed situations present in the current cricketing scenario, domestic structure and all the initiatives taken to unearth local talent.
Prime Minister remarked during the start of the meeting that he has played cricket for 40 years hence he doesn’t need any briefing on it, adding that if the member wants to improve cricket they have to do it without taking into account vested interests.
He remarked that no one has improved cricket yet and only exceptional talent come out without any support from the system. The premier questioned why not a local player from Quetta was in the PSL franchise named after the city, which won the tournament.
The premier directed the PCB to structure the first class cricket as present in Australia with six teams, two from Punjab and one each from every province.
He said that no country would be able to compete against Pakistan in cricket if the system he proposed is implemented in the country.
The official said that Imran had also told the PCB officials that they should work towards making sure that all the matches of the Pakistan Super League next year are held all over the country and not just in Karachi and Lahore.