Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani on Sunday announced that the board’s chief executive, Wasim Khan, has stepped down from his position as head of the Cricket Committee.
The PCB chairman said that Wasim had assumed the role of the cricket committee’s chairman when Mohsin Hasan had stepped down “because he himself was interested in some positions within the PCB”.
“[Wasim] is a full-time employee of the PCB, a chief executive, so he could have exerted a lot of influence over the committee,” said Mani, in a conversation with the media.
According to the PCB, Mani and Wasim had mutually decided it would be best for Wasim to step down as the head and while he will remain a part of the committee, an independent chairman for the committee will be appointed.
“I want this to be a completely independent committee comprised of former cricketers, including international cricketers, who can dispense clear advice, do a critical analysis and who have access to all levels of cricket, whether domestic or international.
“They can speak to the captain, the coach, challenge our senior officials — even Wasim, discuss the wickets, the pitches, the grounds,” said the PCB chairman, as he explained the development.
“Wasim, too, is accountable. So it was not appropriate for him to run the committee.”
Mudassar Nazar’s PCB contract to end next year
Meanwhile, Mudassar Nazar who is the director of academies confirmed that he will not be seeking an extension to his contract when it expires on May 31 next year.
According to a PCB statement, Nazar joined the PCB as Director – Academies on 1 June 1, 2016, on a three-year contract which was extended to another year.
“It has been an exciting and satisfying time with the PCB as Director – Academies. When I had joined from the ICC Academy in Dubai in June 2016, I was clear in my mind that it will be a three-year period, but I extended to another year after being requested and convinced by my colleagues.
“However, it is now time for me to return to the United Kingdom, spend time with my family and explore other opportunities,” said Nazar about his decision.
“I can reflect on my tenure at the National Cricket Academy with satisfaction as we have been able to identify and produce a number of quality cricketers, some of whom have already represented Pakistan while others are knocking on the doorsteps of international cricket,” the director added.
Mani lauded Nazar’s services to the board during his time with PCB.
“Mudassar has contributed a lot to Pakistan cricket. His contract was for three years. When his contract expired in May, I had only been with the PCB for six months, and Wasim for two months. I thought it appropriate for him to serve for one more year. And he thought the same and was happy,” he said.
The PCB chairman said that while it had not yet been decided whether the new candidate should be from Pakistan or abroad, his “personal wish” was to have a Pakistani appointed.
“However, it must be acknowledged that academy programmes elsewhere in the world are far ahead from us. We will get their expertise. We might appoint them as consultants so they can advise us on how to best run the programme.
“But my wish will be to have a Pakistani run the academy,” he reiterated.
Mani negated all impressions that he had differences with management. “I had said since day one that I want to have a very professional board. Cricket is a professional game and we will benefit from cricket only when there is a professional board to run affairs.”
He said it was with this view that some people had decided that they must move forward and contribute differently.
The PCB chairman said the future plan is to have the academy programme spread throughout the country versus just being centred in Lahore.
He said six centres of excellence will be established in Lahore, Karachi, Multan, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, and Quetta. The purpose will be to have development programmes induct trainees 16 years and up, then U-19 and A teams, etc.
“Our sporting culture, fitness programmes, dietary requirements should begin at a young age, when they (young cricketers) first come to play. When we see they have the potential to represent Pakistan, we must turn them into professional sportsmen. For that, we will need to bring in changes to our system.”
“And obviously, for that, we will need to bring in fresh blood.”
He said good relationships cannot be built while sitting in Pakistan and can only be fostered with person-to-person contacts.
“When you sit with someone, eat with them, then confidence builds. Sri Lanka is coming because they have confidence. They know that when someone comes to meet them and talk to them, then the other side can be trusted.”
He said that when Wasim and Zakir went to Australia and met with cricket Australia, it was decided that after 2023, all the Test series with Australia will have three matches.
“Additionally, we will be sending in three new players every year to New South Wales on scholarships. So our players get the opportunity to play in those conditions.
“So it is never a joy ride. No one goes for fun and entertainment.”
Bangladesh’s review of security
Speaking of the recent security overview by Bangladesh, he said four serving army colonels from the country had come to inspect the arrangements and had given a very positive report. “They have no problems with the team coming to Pakistan.”
“As far as our contact with the Bangladesh cricket board is concerned, we got no signals that they have any reservations.”