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Iqbal Qasim resigns as PCB cricket committee head

Says the role was "toothless" and the board wasn't paying heed to the committee's recommendations

Umar Farooq
Umar Farooq
Pigeons resting on a sign of the Pakistan Cricket Board at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, September 7, 2017

Qasim felt the role of the committee is very limited due to which he couldn't contribute much  •  Getty Images

Iqbal Qasim has resigned from his position as the PCB cricket committee head, calling the role "toothless". According to the former cricketer, the position only sounds like an important one, while the actual decision are mainly taken by the PCB executives on their own. The PCB, on accepting Qasim's resignation, insisted that the responsibilities delegated to the panel were limited to recommendations only.
Qasim had taken over from Wasim Khan as the head in January, and presided over two meetings so far.
"The scope of the committee is very limited and I, despite being a former cricketer, am not able to contribute for the betterment of cricket," Qasim told ESPNcricinfo. "If they [PCB] don't want a collective discussion on domestic cricket affairs then there is no point staying there. I took the role to contribute for the betterment [of cricket in Pakistan], but I cannot recommend a single match referee and even an umpire in the system. It is painful to see the injustice being done to cricketers who have played cricket, fulfil all criteria, but still suffer. They pretend that it's a serious committee but the scope doesn't allow me to recommend the people who I think are good enough. If that isn't happening, I can't allow them to use my shoulder."
When the committee was formed in October 2018, it was claimed to have wide-ranging powers to oversee the state of all aspects of Pakistan cricket but wasn't allocated any decision-making power. The members were supposed to meet thrice a year to discuss a variety of issues, including concerns at the first-class level which have drawn increasing attention over the last few years.
The committee soon started developing differences with the PCB and failed to form any sort of consensus on outstanding cricketing issues. Its first chairman, Mohsin Khan, resigned after eight months for reasons never made public. That resulted in then PCB CEO Wasim taking on the additional role of heading the committee. It was on their recommendation that the Mickey Arthur-led national coaching panel was removed.
The PCB then made drastic changes to the domestic structure in the last two years on its own, including abolishing the department teams.
Qasim, who worked as a director of the National Bank of Pakistan (sports division) till 2015, has been vocal about the resumption of department cricket and was optimistic that the board would arrange at least one tournament for the departments every year.
However, the PCB said that the role of the department sides was already eliminated well before Qasim came on board.
"It is indeed sad that a cricketer of the calibre, repute and experience of Iqbal Qasim has voluntarily decided to step down," the PCB said in a release. "His services to cricket, both as a player and as an administrator, are outstanding. However, it was disappointing for the PCB to see its cricket committee chairman, instead of supporting meritocracy and respecting the decision of the independent panel, decided to resign after his 'recommendation' was not entertained.
"The PCB is also at pains to explain that when Iqbal Qasim accepted the offer to head its cricket committee on January 31, 2020, the role of the department sides had already been eliminated under the new PCB Constitution 2019, which came into effect on August 19, 2019. He had walked into the role knowing the framework and regulations under which the current PCB management was operating that had no space for the PCB-organised department cricket."
Qasim, who played 50 Tests and 15 ODIs for Pakistan, has been involved with the PCB in various roles, as team manager, chief selector and member of the domestic tournament monitoring committee. The PCB hoped he would "continue to offer his services in future, nevertheless".

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent