PCB’s Rs 4.5bn annual budget approved by Board of Governors

 * Newly appointed coach Mickey Arthur to be ‘fully supported’

PCB’s Rs 4.5bn annual budget approved by Board of Governors

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) annual budget to the tune of Rs 4.5 billion has been approved by its Board of Governors (BoG). Talking to reporters after the BoG meeting, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan claimed that almost all short-term and long-term plans envisaged by the PCB in the wake of poor performance of the Pakistan team during the last World T20 and Asia Cup T20 had been implemented in order to resurrect the game of cricket in the country. Shaharyar said though the budget amounting to Rs 4.5 billion was approved, the PCB would try its level best to reduce its expenditure. “There was extensive debate on the budget but finally it was approved,” he said. Shaharyar said that after the disappointing performances in the last Asia Cup T20 and World T20, the PCB had taken several decisions to bring back Pakistan cricket on the right track. “We informed the BoG that short-term plans have fully been implemented, since a new selection committee has been formed by appointing Inzamamul Haq as the new chief selector, apart from replacing Shahid Afridi with Sarfraz Ahmad as T20 captain and relieving Waqar Younis to hire Mickey Arthur as head coach,” added the PCB chief. “And to bring improvement in fitness, a boot camp was held successfully in Kakul recently. Also, we have received reports that the camp in Abbottabad was very successful due to which it has now been decided that such camps will be held every year to promote fitness culture,” Shaharyar further said.

Talking about the PCB long-term plans, the chairman said: “Under the long-term plans 95 percent work has been completed with Mudassar Nazar being appointed as director academies. He will join the academy from Tuesday (tomorrow). Mudassar, the chairman said, was a very experienced and suitable person to run the academies, adding that the director academies would also set up new academies across the country. He said that separate school, club and university cricket programmes had almost been finalized, adding that around 1,000 schools both from private and government sectors would be competing which would help enhance the base of players to 10,000. “The PCB is trying to get sponsors for the regional bodies too.” The BoG also welcomed newly appointed head coach Mickey Arthur and had asked the PCB to fully support him.

Shaharyar also said the BoG decided that coaches, trainers, players and other support staff of the national team would be given reasonable targets to achieve in the six-month time period. “After every six months, the target will be reviewed in order to analyze the performances. However, there will be no action against anyone if the targets are not achieved,” he pointed out. Nonetheless, fresh targets will be given as part of a review course. Similarly, head coach Arthur will also be given targets.

He said the BoG admitted that the standard of pitches and grounds in Pakistan was not matching up to the international standard. “The BoG has vowed to give special attention to bringing improvements in pitches and grounds. Our pitches are dull and not up to the mark. All over the world the ball carries to the chest level of the wicketkeeper at fast tracks but we hardly observe such things in Pakistan,” he lamented.

Talking about changes in the domestic structure which could not be put on the right track even after many decades, the chairman said that now it was decided that eight teams each of regions and departments would play separately in the National One-day Championship. “In the four-day format, there won’t be any change. T20 tournaments will only be held on regional level.” The decisions, said the chairman, aimed at improving the quality of the domestic cricket.

Shaharyar said he would be leaving for London next week to attend the annual conference of the ICC, to be held at the end of June, besides watching Test matches between Pakistan and England. To a question, he said though some employees who had been asked to submit their educational degrees had handed them over to the PCB, others were given six-month time period, adding that Zakir Khan and Aizad Said had already deposited their degrees.

‘I am not calling it quits’: Shaharyar also said that he had not yet made up his mind whether to leave his post after completing two years in office on August 17, 2016. “Yes, I am also hearing various news reports about me quitting the post in August this year. But I want to clarify that there is no truth in such reports. In fact, I have not made up my mind yet for this important decision,” Shaharyar maintained. Shaharyar is the first elected chairman of the PCB under the new constitution which came into force in July 2014. According to the official notification he was elected as PCB chairman on Aug 18, 2014 under Paragraph 7 (2) and (3) of the PCB constitution, which allows the chairman to work for three years and makes him also eligible for re-election for one further term of three years provided that the total tenure of an individual as chairman shall in no case exceed a period of six years. The current Board of Governors will complete its tenure of three years on Aug 17, 2017. “Though initially I was asked to work as the PCB chairman for two years to settle down the dust, raised due to legal cases in the courts, as the working of the PCB had been halted in 2014. But as I was elected under a certain clause of the constitution which allows me a three-year period, so, I have to take a decision about it and no one else,” he explained. “I will consult my friends, well-wishers and other stakeholders before taking a decision, but at the moment I am taking a leave and going to England on June 17,” he concluded.