PCB`s policy to gag officials, players paying dividends
Lahore: A new policy of the Pakistan Cricket Board that gags board officials, national players and team management from giving out reckless statements in the media or allegedly leaking out inside information appears to have started to pay dividends for the PCB.
According to a well-informed source, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt last month signed a new order which specifically made it clear that the board would minimize direct interaction with the media and instead rely on press handouts.
"Butt while agreeing to himself adhere to the new policy signed the new order that is binding on players and officials alike," the source said.
The source said that the new media policy came after the board carried out an internal indepth review of its working and realized that much of the controversies and scandals it faced stemmed from the fact that players, team officials and board members were prone to giving reckless statements in the media without thinking about the consequences.
"Letters were issued to all national team players and reserves, team officials and even board employees which they had to sign under which they agreed to only speak to the media if given permission," the source said.
He said some of the members of the national team had taken offence to the new policy but then signed it after being told in clear words either they accepted board policies and played on or took to the sidelines.
"As a result of the new policy the board is now keeping its interaction with the media mainly through press releases and only the media department is now handling all queries from the media whereas in the past anyone in the board or team directly responded to media queries," the source said.
He said that Pakistan`s one-day captain Shahid Afridi had also been told to pull up his socks and stop giving statements in the media without permission of the team manager.
The source said even chief selector Mohsin Khan was issued a notice by the chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed after making some unnecessary comments on the team.
"Mohsin was asked to explain why he gave the statement after being a signatory to the new media policy and had to apologize," the source added.
"This is one reason why the PCB Chairman has also changed his habit of talking to the media on regular basis on every issue. He was in Karachi on Saturday for the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final but didn`t have any media talk," the source said.
"The board Chairman was himself unhappy over the way internal matters of the team became talking points in the media with the help of sources and vowed to take to task players or officials involved in leaking out inside info to the media," he said.
Butt last year had got into serious trouble when he gave an interview to an Indian channel making allegations against the England team players.