Karachi: The death of a prominent first class cricketer, Aamir Bashir due to cancer today led to a call from former Pakistan captains and players for the establishment of a players association in the country.
Former captains Ramiz Raja and Rashid Latif were joined by former Test leg-spinner Abdul Qadir in demanding that the Pakistan Cricket Board allow establishment of the players’ association.
“I think the way and the conditions in which Aamir Bashir passed away is sad and there are many other players facing similar financial problems. The formation of the players association will mean they can work for the welfare of players from one common platform,” Ramiz said.
He made it clear that forming a players’ association did not mean the players wanted to confront the authority of the Cricket Board.
“It should not be viewed that way. 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,” Ramiz felt.
He said a players’ association can play a vital role in bridging any communication gap between the players and the board.
Bashir, who played for the Pakistan Under-19 and ‘A’ teams, was afflicted by bone cancer for the last few years at a relatively young age and lost his battle with the dreaded disease on Tuesday.
Although the PCB provided him half a million rupees and some Pakistan cricketers also pitched in with help to fund his medical expenses but in the end his luck ran out.
“When you are fighting with a terminal illness having financial issues plays a big role in only worsening the disease,” Rashid Latif, who had campaigned to raise funds for Bashir, said.
Pakistan is one of those countries where a players’ association does not exist. The PCB does not encourage such a body.
Rashid noted that in the past whenever efforts were made to form a players’ association the board did not give permission.
Qadir said when he was chief selector he had tried to launch the association but had faced problems.
“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.
He said if all players got together and united their was no way the board could prevent them from forming the association.
“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,” Qadir said.