Pakistan news December 14, 2011

PCB forms task team to study domestic structure


The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has formed a task force to advise the board on how to improve domestic cricket in Pakistan. The team will study and review the existing structure of domestic cricket, consider its weaknesses and strengths and will make recommendations within two months. The recommendations of the team, though, will not be binding on the PCB.

The team is made up of familiar names in Pakistan administration: former Pakistan captains Javed Miandad, Intikhab Alam, Zaheer Abbas and Moin Khan, and former players Sarfraz Nawaz, Iqbal Qasim, Imtiaz Ahmed and Zakir Khan, who is director of domestic cricket in Pakistan. Alam, who has been both a coach and manager of the national side and is now both the director of international cricket for the PCB and director of academies, will be chairman of the task team. Wasim Akram, the former Pakistan captain, was also approached to be a part of the team but declined because of other commitments.

Some of the members of the team have questioned why it has only been given a recommendatory role.

Nawaz said the team members would use their experience to determine why Pakistan's domestic cricket was not producing more world-class cricketers. "The board want our input and we are ready to use the best of our experience to give them that. It is their responsibility to either implement it or not," Nawaz told ESPNcricinfo.

"There is definitely some problem with our existing domestic structure that is hampering the quality of our players. We have to sit down and discuss it right from the start. All the members of the team have rich experience of playing the game. Most of the members have played ample first-class cricket in different eras and understand the structure. I think the quality is missing and that is why we are not producing world-class cricketers. So we have to sit and pen down the differences in the structure of domestic cricket over the years and look for flaws that need to be fixed to get back the quality we had on our circuit."

The structure of domestic cricket in Pakistan has seen several changes over the last six decades. The period from 2001 to now has been the most inconsistent, with changes made every two years. The present structure starts with the inter-district Under-19 tournament, then has the inter-district senior championship followed by the National Under-19 event. After that there is the Patron's Trophy grade II and then the country's premier first-class event the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. The format of QEA has remained intact from last season, with 22 first-class teams - both regional and departmental outfits - competing in a two-league structure. The one-day tournament is the next event, followed by the Pentangular Cup: a first-class tournament among provincial teams and sometimes featuring a combination of provincial teams and top teams from QEA - again an inconsistent format. The season ends with the Twenty20 Cup played among all the 13 regional teams.

Nawaz said the returns the board were getting from domestic cricket were not equivalent to their spendings. "The PCB has invested a huge amount in domestic cricket but the output isn't a quality one," he said. "Most of our current players aren't in the same class as Wasim [Akram], Javed [Miandad] or Waqar [Younis]; they end up playing a maximum of two years of international cricket. We want to produce players who can play international cricket for at least five to ten years on their own abilities.

"We will be studying the structures of most of the successful playing nations and will come up with feasible and the best recommendations for domestic cricket. After that it is the PCB's responsibility to take up our suggestions and implement them."

Iqbal Qasim, who is now head of sports for the National Bank of Pakistan, also said there were faults in Pakistan's domestic cricket. "It's a good sign that the board have at least realised there are flaws and the system requires evaluation," Qasim told ESPNcricinfo. "Every member in the body has huge experience of domestic cricket and I hope the team can come up with the best recommendations that are helpful for Pakistan."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mohammad on December 15, 2011, 21:15 GMT

    The first thing to do is to give a permanent break to Intikhab Alam from all duties. He is too old for this job. He did not do a good job for many years in the recent past, so Pakistan had all those terrible situations in the dressing room and outside. He should retire and write a book that may help cricketers.

  • Dummy4 on December 15, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    I'm kindly requesting the PCB to remove Mr.Inthikhab out. And take W.Akram or J.Miandad in. With that only we can improve Pakistan Cricket. Thank you!

  • aamer on December 15, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    I think domestic cricket should be played as regions not departments cos why would some one will support wapda or PIA, so the department should sponsor the regional teams and they can also give employment to players and in return players can have their logos on their kits and playing instuments, I think this is the only solution to the problem and it doesnt need so many memebers in the committee.

  • Tom on December 15, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    Honesty and sincerity are very important in this job otherwise it is a fruitless exercise. They have formed these types of committees before but it never worked for them as these suggestions are just paperwork and money making exercise. First thing is to develop the grass root level and form school and colleges organizations. Provides incentives and better playing conditions to them. Spot the talent at this level and than work on this talent like Chinese do with their Olympic machinery. Organize the regional ( street , mohalla, neighborhood) and spot the raw talent from there. Finally overhaul the premier competition. Teams like HBL, PIA are absolutely rubbish. It should be composed of cities only which will be sponsored by Businesses like HBL's Karachi, PIA's Lahore and player's are hired on contract basis not as a permanent employee otherwise relatives always gets in them. It should be on two grade level with 5-6 teams only and than provide them with cash incentives and environment.

  • Farrukh on December 15, 2011, 9:45 GMT

    Such a long committee will not serve the purpose except will waste the time. PCB should look to take positive steps by taking concrete steps and don't do the same mistakes of Ijaz Butt tenor. Committe should be of maximum 3 persons . ( One experience ex- test player, one current first class player having experience of over ten years and one technical member of Karachi or Lahore ground ) They have to give their expert advice to Director and Chairman PCB. One major problem in PCB , they normally select committee at their own will instead of going to establish qualifying criteria for such committees. We have lot of experts available in Pakistan and definitely we need some fresh faces. Without taking anything away from the selected committee members, we need fresh ideas for the betterment of cricket. Please change the think tank of PCB for the improvement of cricket in Pakistan otherwise change of chairman will not serve the purpose. ...........

  • Farrukh on December 15, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    I don't think, such a long list of committee would bring any productive change in the domestic structure. Its again time wasting activity. Without taking anything from these members past track record. The current board should have formed the committee of maximum three person ( one ex- test player, having experience of playing cricket in different countries, one current active first class player with experience over 10 years and one technical staff member from any city). Each member to give his report directly to Mr.Alam and Chairman to decide. The selection of member could be done through election and not on personal liking or disliking. You need to improve cricket in Pakistan then , one should take fresh start .

  • Dummy4 on December 15, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    when Intikhab Alab is there i think no improvement in Pakistan Cricket.

  • Hashim on December 15, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    I dont know why Intikhab Alam keeps on getting all good positions in PCB since 1982 despite being highly controvercial. Really doesnt make sense

  • roy on December 15, 2011, 2:43 GMT

    What ever this whole team will find out, I can tell everyone in 2 mins. Bring competitive cricket to schools and colleges and worldclass players will start coming out. Same thing goes for hockey, soccer or any other sports.

  • Dummy4 on December 15, 2011, 1:31 GMT

    Its good sign Pakistan become good team very soon

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