Waqar says board turmoil hurting Pakistan cricket
Dubai: Legendary fast bowler Waqar Younis on Friday called for an end to the turmoil which has pitted the Pakistan cricket administration against the courts, saying it was damaging the game.
The Islamabad High Court this week ordered elections to be held for the chairmanship of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) by November 2, the latest twist in a saga that began in May when the same court suspended the board`s then-chief, Zaka Ashraf, following complaints about his election.
"I sincerely and seriously fear for Pakistan cricket," Waqar told AFP. "When I hear about the ongoing tussle and negative stories about our cricket, my heart goes out as the game is madly followed by millions in Pakistan.
Earlier this month Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took over as PCB patron and set up in "interim management committee" to try to set the game`s affairs in order.
The committee wanted to delay the election of a new PCB chairman to allow some member associations to sort out legal issues, but this week`s court ruling scuppered that plan.
Veteran journalist Najam Sethi was named interim PCB chairman in June, but a month later the Islamabad court curtailed his powers and ordered elections.
Waqar said it was frustrating to see the courts interfere in cricket.
"I am deeply disappointed by that, but it`s because of poor administration that courts had to take matters into their hands," said Waqar, who took 373 wickets in 87 Tests for Pakistan.
"If we do not make our cricket administration stable, accurate and proficient, then I fear cricket will suffer badly. I wish the government would leave it to technocrats to run the game and there should be no meddling."
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has been taking steps to end the political interference that has long dogged the game in certain countries.
It was at the governing body`s insistence that the PCB ended the traditional practice in which the Pakistani president appointed the board chairman, replacing it with an election process.
"We have enormous talent but through our bad administration we are spoiling everything," said Waqar.
"We are not having `A` team tours, we are not concentrating on Under-19 and the blame goes to poor administration."
Waqar suggested former ICC president Ehsan Mani to head the PCB.
"I think Mani has the experience to lead Pakistan cricket into prosperity," said Waqar.
"I sincerely hope that the government let cricket run as an autonmous body, like it has always been and not take cricket under any sports board."
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