The shambolic condition of Pakistan's economy is only matched by its rather sorry cricketing affairs which has seen the national men's team fall to the bottom heap of ICC team rankings for Tests and ODIs.
That the country's Prime Minister is also a former cricketer who won the World Cup decades ago has not helped yet. Now, Imran Khan wants to change all of that. In a meeting with officials of Pakistan Cricket Board on Wednesday, Imran hit all the suggestions made out of the park and came down heavily on the cricket administrators. Geo TV reported that he told PCB officials to keep their vested interests on the sidelines if a multitude of issues with Pakistani cricket is to be fixed.
It is reported that Imran reminded PCB officials that he required no briefing on the matter because he has played cricket for over 40 years. The veteran of 88 Tests and 175 ODIs won the country its first and only World Cup in 1992 but as Prime Minister, wants a renaissance of glory days gone by. For this, he reportedly suggested that Pakistan's first-class cricket be restructured on the lines of Australian cricket which would make the national team invincible.
Pakistan cricket has plummeted in recent years in a number of ways - on and off the field. International cricket remains rare here while Pakistani cricketers are barred from participating in the Indian Premier League - the world's biggest domestic T20 event. Bilateral cricket with India has been rejected by the Board of Control for Cricket in India due to the Indian government's stand. When the PCB attempted to challenge BCCI for it at the ICC, it backfired spectacularly with the Pakistani Board even being made to pay BCCI's legal cost.
Pakistan cricket's last major achievement in the international stage was in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. Clinging on to those memories, fans of the team have not had much else to cheer about with their heroes currently placed seventh in the Test and sixth in the ODI team rankings.