“PCB chief Ashraf's one-year term marked with U-turns''
Lahore: Several U-turns on key issues have marked Zaka Ashraf`s one-year tenure as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief.
Ashraf, who was took charge on Oct 13, 2011, began his stint by immediately declaring that the resumption of international cricket will be his top priority. However, his actions have not really supported his claims during this period as no international cricket team has toured the country till now while Pakistan continue to play their ``home`` series at neutral venues, reports The Dawn.
Further, Ashraf had once said that his first priority would be to make Pakistan the No.1 team in all three formats in the year 2013.
He inherited a winning team combination - Mohsin Hasan Khan as the head coach, Mohammad Ilyas as acting chief selector and Misbah-ul-Haq as captain of all the three formats. The team was dominating the scene and maintained its winning streak in the early period of Ashraf`s reign by beating Sri Lanka in all formats in the UAE during October-November 2011, the paper said.
Ashraf took another U-turn and decided to break the winning Mohsin-Ilyas-Misbah combination for reasons best known to him, it added. He appointed the Sri Lanka-born Aussie coach Dav Whatmore in place of Mohsin for the Asia Cup while former left-arm spinner Iqbal Qasim was named as chief selector in place of Ilyas who tendered his resignation at around the same time.
Though Pakistan won the Asia Cup under Misbah`s captaincy, the right-handed batsman was asked to relinquish the T20 captaincy to all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez - just three months before the start of the World Twenty20.
The frequent changes made by Ashraf resulted in a sharp decline of the team`s performance on the subsequent tour of Sri Lanka.
In yet another U-turn, Ashraf, after claiming that he would fight the Pakistan case before the ICC over forced adoption of a democratic system in the Board, recently admitted that the PCB would follow the ICC constitution.
Though the last date to adopt the democratic set-up has expired on June 30, 2012, the ICC can still decide in the next 12 months about a penalty for those countries which have been violating these clauses.
Another instance of Ashraf`s U-turn policy could be seen in hiring of national team coaches. Early this year he had stated that the Board would be hiring the best coaches for the team. However, the appointment of Mohammad Akram as bowling coach certainly does not befit that claim.