Former PCB chairmen appreciate team’s consistency, support board’s efforts


Former chairmen of the Pakistan Cricket Board on Tuesday appreciated the consistency shown by the Pakistan cricket team in its recent approach and supported the efforts of the PCB for bringing international cricket back to the country.
An official of the board said: “The former chairmen who attended the annual general meeting of the board appreciated and acknowledged the most noticeable upsurge and consistency in the team’s performance in recent months, all five were all support on the Board’s endeavour to bring back international cricket to Pakistan and also on the way the PCB’s policies and management.”
The PCB Annual General Body meeting was held under the chair of PCB Chairman Ch. Muhammad Zaka Ashraf and was attended by around 112 members including presidents of District Cricket Associations, Regional Presidents, Representatives of Departments, Chairperson Women Wing, Pakistan Blind and Deaf Cricket Associations. Members coming from all parts of the country, from cosmopolitan to the remotest of the remote of districts, were in attendance at the meeting.
Five former chairmen also most graciously attended the meeting in their capacity as honorary members.
The agenda of the second AGM under the current constitution consisted of four points. These were: approval of the minutes of last AGM (held in 2011), to consider the Annual Report 2011 and Future Programmes as devised by the Governing Board; to consider the Audited Accounts and Budget Estimates and to make appropriate recommendations to the Governing Board for the promotion of cricket in Pakistan.
All items were discussed threadbare in a candid and informed manner by the members and the requisite approvals were granted after detailed deliberations on each point. Each of the five former chairmen present – Khalid Mahmood, Zafar Altaf, Lt. Gen. (Retd) Tauqir Zia, Sheharyar M. Khan and Ijaz Butt – gave a most decent input.
Though the words differed, the views of all five were unanimous on three counts. All five individually appreciated and acknowledged the most noticeable upsurge and consistency in the team’s performance in recent months, all five were all support on the Board’s endeavour to bring back international cricket to Pakistan and also on the way the PCB’s policies and management.
Mr Khalid Mahmood suggested that apart from full members, the PCB should also try to invite the associate members. Mr Zafar Altaf suggested that Pakistan cricket be marketed more aggressively so that it remains financially viable. Gen. Tauqir Zia promising support to the present chairman and the management, reiterated the need to invite the ICC’s associate members for short series. Mr Sheharyar Khan also had a word of praise for the Pakistan women’s team, which also has gone places in recent times. He also appreciated the fact that the agenda of the meeting had been circulated well in advance, helping members to come prepared. Mr Ijaz Butt, other than the Board’s efforts acknowledged its chief patron Mr Asif Ali Zardari’s raising the issue of recommencing bilateral ties between the two leading sub-continental nations at the highest level, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in India on his recent visit.
Members coming from all parts of the country took this opportunity to discuss the initiatives they are taking in their respective areas and the problems they are facing in their quest to promote cricket. Chairman PCB, Ch. Muhammad Zaka Ashraf assured the delegates that PCB will do everything in its capacity to help and promote the sport.
In his address the PCB Chairman, who had earlier especially welcomed members from Balochistan, noted that all Pakistanis should contribute towards bringing international cricket to Pakistan. All such efforts are welcome by the Board.
Excerpts from PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf’s address to the AGM:
“I believe we have performed excellently on the cricket front, as is evident from the consistently appreciable results, especially in the Test series against England, the world’s top-ranked side, and the recent Asia Cup triumph after 12 years. These achievements have induced self-confidence in the team and morale quite understandably is upbeat and positive.
“But I believe we need to keep things in perspective, some self-analysis of the situation in the not-too- distant past is in order. We have had spells of success before, but never the consistency that is the hallmark of great teams. When we are winning, we allow smugness and complacency to take over, and that is when the degeneration sets in.
“This time round we have to be on our guard against it. “Not just that, my vision actually is perpetual improvement all round. That means, not just by our national representative cricket teams – Senior, Women’s, ’A’ and the age-group squads – but also the way our cricket in all spheres is managed and run. “The mantra is: nothing short of excellence is acceptable.
“And here is how we’re going to achieve it.
“We are determined to bring international cricket back to Pakistan, by guaranteeing the teams that visit us with watertight security. Afghanistan has already been here. And I myself and my management team have striven very hard to convince the Bangladesh Board to visit us by reassuring them that Pakistan is a safe destination for cricket.
“While bringing back international cricket remains the foremost priority, there are equally important other issues that have to be addressed. “To ensure enduring excellence, throughout my time in-charge, I have emphasised three prerequisites: i) strict adherence to merit; ii) no compromise on discipline; iii) zero tolerance for corrupt practices. “The current dispensation at the PCB remains committed to continuously purge and cleanse, to instill discipline and make Pakistan cricket a meritocracy comparable with the best in the world. It is a must if we need to win not matches and tournaments but also the respect and admiration of the cricketing fraternity and ensure that the embarrassing incidents of 2010 in England are never again repeated.
“The Board will provide the best and the most seasoned coaches, support staff and other facilities to the Pakistan team. The appointment of Dav Whatmore, who has proven credentials spread over two decades and more, as Pakistan’s national coach is a first step towards realisation of that objective.
“Whatmore’s presence is definitely likely to make the outlook of our team a whole lot more professionally oriented. He would also be provided with world standard backup to ensure quality in coaching. [That his appointment was made after the Committee made for the purpose thoroughly vetted and advised his hiring, reflects a pronounced desire to follow transparent procedures].
“The aim of the current PCB management is that Pakistan’s first class cricket should be just that: first class, and in every sense of the word. Steps are afoot to achieve that. And this involves not just lots of endeavour but a great deal of expense too. While a committee comprising former cricketers has already been formed and tasked to give its recommendations for the revamp of our domestic cricket, to implement these PCB plans by considerably enhancing the marketing yield by aggressively pursuing for more from the existing revenue streams and creating new ones as well.
“From the razzmatazz in the final of our Faysal Bank Super8 Twenty20 event that concluded on April 1, 2012, it should be obvious that we want to get best mileage from our local events by enhancing their value as a spectacle.
“Our auxiliary aims are to provide more opportunities to our women cricketers who are also winning laurels for the country. The PCB has already taken a lead in maximum exposure of the physically impaired cricketers by inviting foreign teams to Pakistan. It is my heartfelt desire that all our efforts in any sphere should eventually lead to enhancing our country’s and our cricket’s image.
“And last but not the least, we are actively engaged in launching Pakistan Premier League, on the line of such events elsewhere. The PCB is working on it, and I shall soon be able to share something concrete with the General Body on this.
“Let’s all strive to make Pakistan the No 1 team across all three formats. We have the potential to return with honours from wherever cricket is played. It is about time we realised that potential.”