Pakistan Cricket has been in tatters for the last 24 months or so. The Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman keeps changing every 12-18 months. Does it not look like a PCB Chairmanship – A Hide and Seek Adventure? Three new Chairmen in the space of 2 years.!
Since the T20 World Cup 2022, the Pakistan Cricket Team has found themselves in tough times. Men’s and Women’s teams have also seen some difficult new decisions to act upon.
How PCB Chairmanship – A Hide and Seek Adventure?
After a successful vote of confidence against the ex-prime minister and greatest cricketer of all time, Imran Khan, Ramiz Raja was also dethroned from the PCB chairmanship in December 2022. Ramiz Raja’s removal as the Head of the Pakistan Cricket Board also affected the Pakistan Cricket Team’s performance in the International Arena.
The PCB Chairmanship – A Hide and Seek Adventure started when the new government and prime minister, Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Shareef exercised his powers as patron and chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board and changed the PCB chairman. He appointed Najam Sethi as the new PCB Chairman. Najam Sethi used his powers to change not only the domestic structure but also all the actions taken by Ramiz Raja during his reign as PCB Chairman.
Najam Sethi took a strong stance in organizing the Asia Cup 2023 in Pakistan. As India was not ready to visit Pakistan for the Asia Cup 2023, it also caused a little rift between neighboring countries’ cricket boards. Najam Sethi warned India about Pakistan’s participation in the ODI World Cup 2023. Sethi proposed a hybrid model to secure Pakistani fans’ interest in cricket. ACC ( Asian Cricket Council) accepted that proposal, but before Asia Cup 2023, Zaka Ashraf succeeded Najam Sethi as Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board.
As soon as Zaka Ashraf took charge, he changed the management of Pakistan Cricket, appointed new Selectors, and formed a technical committee for the ODI World Cup 2023. This all happened due to the abysmal performance of the Pakistan Men’s Cricket team in the Asia Cup. Asia Cup also brought the challenges of injuries of really important Bowlers like Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf. PCB officials called it the consequence of the Hybrid Model as the team had to travel back and forth to Pakistan and Sri Lanka several times.
As time passed, differences in the Pakistan Team camp started to rise. Selectors and Captain Babar Azam confronted for selection of players. Zaka Ashraf was mishandling the situation. In an interview, Zaka Ashraf showed the conversation of the skipper of the Pakistan Team, Babar Azam, which also created a new scene for the whole Pakistan Team in the World Cup. Babar Azam was sacked from captaincy immediately after the disastrous performance in the world cup 2023. Shan Masood was appointed the captain of Red Ball cricket, and Shaheen Shah Afridi was responsible for leading the side in ODI and T20 Cricket. Wahab Riaz became Chief Selector, and Muhammad Hafeez took charge as the new Director of the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Zaka Ashraf’s new management failed quite badly as mighty Australia whitewashed them. After a disappointing debut series for Shan Masood in Australia, all hopes and eyes were laid on the T20 series against New Zealand in New Zealand.
Cricket Gurus said the Pakistan Team was not even selected to win. They picked five openers for a series. It happened as expected in New Zealand. New Zealand thrashed Pakistan in 5 T20 matches and won the series by 4-1, and an excuse was made that “We are trying new combinations for the T20 World Cup 2024.”
PCB Chairmanship – A Hide and Seek Adventure will continue because Zaka Ashraf has resigned as cricket board chairman. Pakistan’s cricket teams must go through a whole new management system. Advocate Supreme Court Shah Khawar has been appointed Interim Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board. New Coaches, new Staff, New mindset, and New Approaches.
This is the worst that could happen with Pakistan Cricket. But Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the new Chairman and his subordinates may work for the prosperity of Cricket in Pakistan. Is PCB Chairmanship – A Hide and Seek Adventure for you?