It is not possible for eleven players to wake up one morning and start playing cricket for their respective countries at the international level. Before achieving such a feat, each and every country who wants to play cricket at the international level must first have its own governing body (eg: PCB, CA, ECB) which is to be recognised as full members by the global governing body which oversees all matters related to international cricket – the ICC. Simple as it sounds, however, this is no easy task. In order to gain full membership, a country first has to become an associate member. The associate stage breeds high levels of competiveness with associate members playing amongst themselves. Oncethey can prove their competitive mettle is worthy for playing at the national level, they are inducted as full members and are allowed to play all three formats at the international level. This includes both bi-lateral series (or more) and ICC tournament events. Full members are also given the all-important title of “test status.” Truth behold, the idea to introduce the associate level was in fact given by Pakistan to the ICC in the late 1960s. Pakistan never became an associate member as back then there was no such concept. In 1952 Pakistan was directly awarded test membership by defeating an MCC team visiting Pakistan. For all those who follow and know about cricket, the governing body for all international and domestic cricket related to Pakistan is thePCB with its head office in the beautiful and cultural city of Lahore. A year after partition the Board of Control for Cricket in Pakistan (BCCP) was formed to look into matters of all things related to cricket in Pakistan. It is said that a lot of initial meetings of the BCCP took place at the residence of Pakistan’s first test captain A.H. Kardar. It is also rumored that the BCCP had its own full-fledged constitution at that time. As per an unfortunate nature which humanity possesses, the ups are not given so much importance while the lows are forever talked about and remembered After decades, the BCCP became what is today known as the PCB. Since the time of partition, the game of cricket has been infused with the state of Pakistan-both in terms of having a madfollowing and also by law. The patron of the board is the prime minister and on some occasions the president who appoints the Chairman of the PCB. The PCB as a whole has had many ups and downs in its various regimes. As per an unfortunate nature which humanity possesses, the ups are not given so much importance while the lows are forever talked about and remembered. However, the contribution’s which the PCB has made towards the betterment forworld cricket should be shared. There are many but three contributions are definitely worth mentioning. Firstly,the PCBintroduced independent match referees which later evolved in bringing forth a panel of elite neutral umpires for all test match playing nations. The incident which led towards the introduction of independent match referees was an incidence between a test match against New Zealand and West Indies back in the early 1980s where the West Indies felt they were a victim of biased umpiring. An unfortunate incident on the field involving a physical altercation between former West Indian great fast bowler Colin Croft and umpire Fred Goodall led towards the brilliant idea of introducing independent match referees and neutral umpires. Today, we are blessed of watching test match cricket under the auspicious eyes of neutral umpires and match referees along with the added technological inventions which brings relief to both teams in judging fair play. Secondly, the PCB introduced a revenue sharing model which was sought out to benefit all ICC full-member countries. Sometime back in the 90s’ a full-member cricket board proposed that shares of the ICC would be granted to full-members of the ICC. However, there was a catch. The catch was that the shares would be given to the representatives, that is, head of each country’s governing body. The question which arose was what would happen if that particular governing body head passed away? Would the shares be passed on to his or her heir(s) instead of the board itself? Henceforth, due to the vagueness of the proposal, the PCB provided a version of their own proposal which focused on full-member countries rather than individuals. The proposal allowed full-time members with the ability to have a say in matters related to governing the ICC. Along with this, good profits for both full time members and associate members were also introduced. Last but not the least, the introduction of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is something which will go a long way towards the enhancement of bringing a very colourful, robust and exciting flare to the game of cricket. Apart from these three things if the PSL is managed properly it could be a very profit making “entity.” For the “entity” to happen it would be correct to make it not completely autonomous or independent but somewhat so that it is listed on the stock exchange so that cricketing boards could be lured into buying some shares or stakes for a fixed time period in return for touring Pakistan. An idea which could be pondered over. Nonetheless, a big round of applause to the PSL and all those who governed the PCB. The writer is based in Karachi Published in Daily Times, March 16th 2019.