LAHORE: The game of cricket is passionately followed in Pakistan. Australian team visited Pakistan in March-April this year, after a gap of 24 years and both countries contested three Test match series for Benaud-Qadir Trophy — named after former international cricketers Richie Benaud and Abdul Qadir. One observed a pleasant improvement in the team’s performance during the series. Pakistan lost the three Test series 1-0 amid showing great resilience to draw the second Test at Karachi. Pakistan won the ODI series 2-1 and lost the only Twenty20 international. Nevertheless, in recent years, the performance of the Pakistan team has remained below expectation in all three formats of the game. They have even struggled against international B teams. There are a number of reasons of that decline. The Pakistan Cricket Board has been negligent in promoting cricket at the grassroots level. In the past there were regular competitions at school, college and university level. The Government College and Islamia College in Lahore contributed a number of players to the national teams. The keenly contested final of the Punjab University Cricket Championship match between these two colleges used to attract thousands of ardent fans at the Old Campus Ground in Lahore. The Minto Park in Lahore also played an important role in the development of cricket at the club level. At least a dozen well-attended nets in three cricket grounds adjacent to each other would provide regular practice to a large number of aspiring and upcoming cricketers. Many of the Pakistan Test players used to participate in these club tournaments. Unfortunately, this was all in the past. There is a need of taking a number of steps at the administrative level. The current constitution of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has to be abrogated and a fresh constitution be prepared where the stakeholders — presidents of divisional/regional and district cricket associations have a say in the formation of policies of the PCB. The 1995 constitution of the PCB was an ideal one but it has been tinkered five times to suit the whims of the PCB chairmen. As a change of command is expected in the PCB after the fall of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, Ramiz Raja is still sticking to his job amid claim that “he has been asked to stay”. I was against former chairman Nasim Asharf because of his many shallow policies to run the board. He was responsible in recruiting a large force of his personal ‘darbaris’ in the board. But when the then Pakistan President, General Pervaiz Musharraf, resigned in August 2008, only after hours, he (Nasim Ashraf) also resigned. That was graceful. But here is a mediocre former Test cricketer is not ready to quit but desperately trying to stick to his job. Alas he should have shown some grace! The passionate followers of cricket expect from Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who is also the patron-in-chief of the PCB, he must appoint a person who has played enough international cricket, well educated, a man of impeccable integrity and well known in the comity of international cricket. Majid Khan, Salim Altaf, Iqbal Qasim and few other former Test cricketers qualify for the job. The appointment of a well-qualified individual will go a long way in improving the standard of the game and eradicating the menace of match-fixing which has brought a bad name to Pakistan cricket. The cricket fans in Pakistan expect the patron to appoint the new chairman on merit — the right man for the right job!