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PCB rejects recommendations of ICC Task Force

Lahore: The PCB has rejected most of the recommendations and suggestions of the ICC`s Task Force on Pakistan cricket and described its report as "faulty, superfluous and full of factual errors".

In a hard hitting response to the PTT report, the PCB said the it appeared to be more of a scholarly exercise than being Pakistan specific.

"The entire report has been prepared without PTT ever visiting Pakistan (except for a brief chat of a few hours that David Richardson had with a few ex-players during his visit to Karachi in January 2011 or perhaps some input to PTT from Ramiz)," the Pakistan Cricket Board response said.

"This raises serious questions on the observations given in the report," it added.

The special task force was constituted by the International Cricket Council after the Sri Lankan team was attacked by militants in Lahore in March, 2009.

Initially, it was suppose to review only the security situation in Pakistan and suggest ways for international teams to resume touring Pakistan but later its mandate was increased to include other cricket related issues in the country.

Last year the ICC even threatened to penalise the PCB if it failed to implement some of the reforms suggested by it in its initial findings.

The final report, submitted at the ICC executive council meeting, had particularly hit out at the involvement of the President of Pakistan in cricket matters and the unilateral powers enjoyed by the Chairman of the Board.

It also made recommendations on other issues including selection matters, appointment of managers and central contracts -- something that didn`t go down well with the PCB.

The PCB complaint that the PTT report had also expressed reservations on the authority of the President of Pakistan in appointment of the PCB Chairman and members of Governing Board.

"The circumstances in Pakistan are unique and cricket administration requires and deserves government support without which international cricket may not be able to return to Pakistan. Keeping in view the extraordinary security situation in the country, having the President as Patron of PCB adds tremendous value and comfort," the PCB said.

"It further reminds the PTT that this system is in place since PCB became full-member of ICC and it should be appreciated that a system which has propelled Pakistan to the top of the cricket world has been in place for approximately 60 years and cannot certainly be labelled as `faulty,` it added.

The PCB noted that number of recommendations in the PTT report are incorrect, superfluous or redundant.

"For instance the number of contracted players mentioned in PTT`s report is incorrect and the observation that PCB does not have a Public Comment Policy is also not true."

The PCB said the PTT report that the selection committee is not independent is also incorrect.

"The PCB response clarifies that selection committee is independent and the procedure of their appointment, their domain, functions and duties are documented quite contrary to what PTT report asserts.”

"Regrettably, PTT did not meet the chairman of selection committee to get his views. The process of selection is such that the selectors finalise a team which is sent to PCB chief for his formal approval. In case there are any queries with regard to any player, the same is sent back to the selection committee for their comments but it is entirely up to the committee to finalise the squad," PCB said.

"The committee, in fact sign the final squad before submitting the same to PCB chief for his formal approval. We therefore feel that the recommendations of PTT that chairman of the PCB has the right of veto are not based on facts.”

"The process of selection is a time tested one and has worked for Pakistan. It ensures that there are proper checks and balances in selection matters. The view that there is interference in the selection matters is therefore factually incorrect, devoid of reality and henceforth rejected," it added.

The PCB also noted that contrary to PTT`s observations all members on the selection committee are either former international or first-class cricketers.

PTT report suggested that the selection committee should make recommendations on captaincy and their recommendation then being considered and ratified by the Governing Board.

But PCB in its response said, "We respectfully disagree with this recommendation. In Pakistan the system of selecting a captain is different. No reason has been given by PTT in support of its recommendation that selection committee is the best judge of who the captain of Pakistan should be?”

"If this recommendation is based on what other countries follow it may not work for Pakistan. Again the authority to nominate the captain has been delegated by the Governing Board to the Chairman."

On the team manager and his support staff, PTT has recommended that the manager should be appointed on a full time basis and the term of his appointment, subject to the satisfactory fulfilment of reasonable performance criteria, should be a minimum period of two years and other support staff should be appointed by the COO (or CEO when introduced) in consultation with the team manager and team coach.

But PCB in its response had outrightly rejected the suggestion.

"These recommendations are probably given by PTT as `best business practice` rather than Pakistan specific. To our knowledge, there are other countries that nominate managers on tour-by-tour basis and the system works well for them. Same is the case with other support staff.”

"In the absence of any plausible argument in favour of change, such recommendations cannot be accepted nor implemented."

The PCB statement also criticised PTT`s recommendation that Internal Auditor and CFO should have separate roles.

"PCB response clarifies that the position of Internal Auditor and CFO are separate in PCB (except for a short period when new CFO was being hired and Internal Auditor was given the extra responsibility of Acting CFO)."

Responding on the demand of Internal Auditor being responsible to Audit Committee, which should be independent of PCB, the response stated, "It is interesting to note that even ICC`s own Audit Committee Chairman is not independent of ICC."

PCB hopes that now when the weaknesses in the report have been identified, required amendments will be made "for the report to reflect the true facts and reality".

Commenting on the PCB response, Chairman of the PCB, Ejaz Butt, said, "I am grateful to the PTT for their work. While the intent cannot be questioned, few discrepancies can be identified in the report, which PCB consider duty-bound to rectify. I wish to reiterate the assurance of ICC to us that recommendations in the report are not directives to PCB and that it is entirely up to PCB to accept and implement these.”

"Having consulted members of our Board of Governors, we decided to send a detailed response to ICC. I hope that it will be taken in a positive spirit."

PTI

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