Till when will the PCB use scapegoats?
With the WorldT20 debacle, Pakistan cricket has plummeted to new lows. The team is devoid of a direction, an identity and most worryingly, the motivation to get out of this rut it finds itself in.
The first thing that follows such performances is the sacking of the captain, the team management and the selectors, while some players are axed to make room for the news ones and in some extremely rare cases, the discarded ones are also called back.
This general trend is expected to hold this time around as well but the question that remains is whether this china-cutting will help make Pakistan cricket better?
The team is in shambles and just using scapegoats to buy time will not help the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in the long run; the board will make another team, if that team fails then new faces will be brought in and if it succeeds then many would lay claim to the glory.
However, this policy will only hide the problems; it won’t solve any.
The PCB itself needs a major shake-up. There is a need to have new people in domestic cricket, in the selection panels (both junior and senior), in the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and simply put, in every department of the PCB.
The current crop has century-old ideas for improvement and until and unless a new direction takes root in the country’s most resourceful board, nothing substantial would ever happen.
The PCB would keep going in circles, only to come back at the same point and then repeating the process all over again — a farcical approach.
The recently concluded Pakistan Super League (PSL) serves as a great example of what the future of Pakistan cricket could behold. Involvement of the corporate sector made the event glitzy and ensured that the sportsmen are paid enough to keep them motivated.
The same policy, if applied, at the domestic level to boost the structure will yield great results for the vast potential of amazing cricketers at our disposal.
As far as the national team is concerned, it is time to appoint someone like Sarfraz Ahmed as captain of both the ODI and T20I squad because he can think outside the box. He has been forced to work as a dummy under Shahid Afridi and Azhar Ali’s leadership but if entrusted with the role, he could bring some form of stability to the team.
As for the coach, former bowling coach Aqib Javed is said to be in the running for the post of head coach and is not a bad option if the PCB cannot bring in someone like Wasim Akram, Moin Khan or Rashid Latif.
But Javed alone would not be able to take the team forward and requires a foreign coach like of Gary Kirsten, Stephen Fleming or Mike Hesson who can bring in a cultural change as that’s something that really needs working on in the national cricket team.
In addition, former Test cricketer Basit Ali should be involved in the team management as a batting coach atleast because he has led domestic side SNGPL to four consecutive domestic titles.
If the PCB doesn’t make radical changes in its working, Pakistan cricket will only deteriorate further.