Gen (retd) Tauqeer Zia
Former PCB Chairman
There is politics all over the cricket world. If the ICC indulges in excessive politics, it is natural for boards to do the same too.
But the Pakistani position has become a political mess. And the prime minister will have to make up his mind quickly about what he really wants. If he really wants to place his own man at the top of the PCB, surely there are better ways of doing it, like call an election, manage the vote, and secure the position for three years.
Now there is complete confusion. How can the board function normally when the chairman is insecure about his position? He is busy with courts, people under him are not sure about their jobs, and it is natural for the dysfunction to spread to the team.
It seems the government is just not interested in playing a positive role. In my time I tried to help hockey, golf, and bridge bodies, but instead of such efforts being appreciated, I was questioned by the Public Accounts Committee.
Former PCB Chairman
This trend of making the chairman’s appointment not on merit but on personal liking has persisted for a long time now, perhaps more than a decade. Invariably in such cases, appointees are insecure about their tenures, and never make the right decisions for the board or the sport.
That is why we have this trend of changing and abrogating the constitution. I think it has already been changed eight or nine times. Therefore we do not have democratic processes, consultative processes, or any form of accountability in the system.
In the present turmoil, where two men have been at logger heads for months, the sport is suffering. Right now the whole team is divided. Players are unsure about officials, who to take refuge with, who to make links with. It is causing embarrassment and is just ridiculous at all levels.
The focus should be on building proper infrastructure and ensuring the right kind of discipline comes to the board, which will not be possible without making right and serious appointments.
Air Marshal Syed Razi Nawab
Senior Vice President, Pakistan Squash Federation
Pakistan’s sporting problems have increased since the March 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, which has led to long years of sports isolation. We have degenerated otherwise also and sports are on a decline overall. At such times, international exposure is important to increase sportsmen’s competitiveness.
So far, the PSF has succeeded in its efforts to end this isolation, getting the Professional Squash Association (PSA) to become the first international body to lift the sports travel ban on Pakistan.
But we have much deeper problems. The importance of sports is fading. There is no political party in Pakistan now that has sports as part of its manifesto. Also, parents are not interested in encouraging their students to turn seriously to sports. Education institutes no longer offer sports scholarships like they did, at least in my time. There is neglect across the board, and sports and sportsmen suffer as result.
There is an urgent need to address the indiscipline that has gripped our sports industry. And the government needs to take the first right step by selecting the right people for the most important posts.
Khwaja Zaka ud Din
Former coach, chief selector and manager of Pakistan Hockey Team
Our sports suffer from a collective administrative failure. We have already seen the worst effects in hockey and we are seeing them again in cricket. This drama about irresponsible appointments must come to an end.
For God’s sake, I implore relevant authorities to finally do the right thing and make the right decisions. We need a transparent administrative policy for the entire sporting industry. The boards must be better regulated and disciplined. We must ensure constitutions are rectified and transparent elections held.
Only then will the right people come to the top and the problems of indiscipline, corruption and utter neglect be addressed. Otherwise there is no hope. We will continue with the downward spiral.
Former Chairman, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF)
It is true that Pakistan hockey has suffered the worst of neglect over the years and we have fallen from great heights to unenviable lows.
But all is not lost. Key stakeholders have now got together to find a way out of the mess. Old heroes, notable players, managers, coaches, etc, have joined hands to breathe new life into Pakistan hockey.
And we are very optimistic that the tide can be turned. And if we can do it in hockey, there is hope for other sports too. We have started coaching programs for junior as well as senior teams. We have also made significant efforts to revive the national circuit and address key problems that are keeping good players from joining professional ranks.
In the coming months and years these efforts will begin bearing fruit. So watch the next few national and international tournaments carefully. Hopefully you will be able to see the difference.