Pakistan news December 22, 2010

Former Pakistan cricketers push for players association

ESPNcricinfo staff

The death of 38-year-old first-class cricketer Aamer Bashir, after a long-running battle against cancer, has led to a call from former Pakistan players Ramiz Raja, Rashid Latif and Abdul Qadir for the establishment of a players association in the country.

"I think the way, and the conditions in which Aamer Bashir passed away are sad and there are many other players facing similar financial problems," Ramiz told PTI. "The formation of the players association will mean they can work for the welfare of players from one common platform."

Leading cricketers like Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan and Basit Ali worked hard to ensure Bashir received proper medical treatment, in addition to monetary assistance from the board. Ramiz asked for a more organised set-up to help such cricketers, and made it clear that forming a players association did not mean the players wanted to confront the board's authority.

"It should not be viewed that way [as a threat to the board]," he said. "If we have a proper association it can work for the welfare of players and also educate them on how to handle things and behave while playing for Pakistan."

"When you are fighting with a terminal illness having financial issues plays a big role in only worsening the disease," Latif, who had campaigned to raise funds for Bashir, said. Latif also noted that the board had opposed earlier efforts to set up a players body, a point that Qadir agreed with.

"Even if the board does not give us permission we can easily go to court and get permission because I think it is the right of cricketers to have a representative body in the country it is long overdue," Qadir said. "I just feel in Pakistan cricket, where there are so many disputes and controversies, a players association can play a very productive and positive role."

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