Pakistan News

‘Regional cricket heads fail to impress Imran’

A delegation comprising heads of various cricketing regions of the country, which met prime minister Imran Khan last week failed to impress him with their knowledge of the sport and the ideas on how to deal with the game-related problems, well-informed sources have told Dawn.

The delegation which included Chaudhry Anwer (Faisalabad region), Salman Talpur (Hyderabad), Zafarullah (Dera Murad Jamali), Mir Usman (AJK) and Amir Nawab (former head of Abbottabad region) met Imran at his Bani Gala residence last week to apprise him of domestic cricket affairs.

As the delegation mainly comprised the heads of relatively smaller regions – except for Faisalabad region – whose teams are still playing Grade-II cricket on domestic circuit, cricketing circles have expressed their surprise as to how they managed to arrange a meeting with Imran, particularly when no significant name from the cricket fraternity was part of the said delegation.

According to sources, Imran, who has always backed promoting cricket at regional level instead of departmental, was not impressed with the cricketing knowledge of the delegation members on how to bring improvement in Pakistan cricket.

Some sources, however, disclosed that a few close friends of Imran, who are keen to see a swift change at the helm of the Pakistan Cricket Board, helped arranged the meeting of the delegates. They further said that Imran is likely to announce a clear policy about the fate of PCB chairman very soon.

Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has written a letter to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) requesting the anti-graft watchdog to open an investigation over alleged corruption against Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi.

The letter was written by PTI leader Javaid Badar in which he demanded the anti-graft agency to launch probe against the PCB chairman.

The letter stated that Najam Sethi was involved in corruption in Pakistan Super League (PSL) due to which he wasn’t letting the PSL audit report to be made public. A letter was written to the PCB chairman to make audit report public, the letter added.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman, Najam Sethi, has said that he is ready to quit the PCB and go home if Prime Minister Imran Khan or any of his advisers even signal him to go.

Talking to this scribe, he said he has run the organisation transparently and has nothing to fear but would only continue in the post if Imran Khan personally asks him to do so.

Najam said it is the right of the chief patron to pick his nominee to head the top cricket body, but so far he has not decided to resign from the post. He said he has no intention to throw the PCB into instability and chaos over his personal interest. The PCB chief said there are no bread and butter issues attached to this post and he can return to media and restart his talk show.

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