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K.R. Nayar Column: Imran shows right intent to boost cricket in Pakistan

Imran shows right intent to boost cricket in Pakistan

 

Published in Gulf News, Aug 28th, 2018 By K.R. Nayar, Chief Cricket Writer

Imran Khan, after becoming the Prime Minister, has shown the intent to strengthen the functioning of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

It is this sport that gave him the fame to rise to this position and hence he will be putting great efforts to lift the image of Pakistan cricket.

By winning the 1992 World Cup, Imran, as captain, proved that Pakistan is a power in world cricket.

Though he will have his hands full in trying to resurrect the country’s economy, he is likely to do his best to get cricket flourishing in Pakistan.

No cricket board in the world will have this advantage where the Prime Minister of the country would monitor the fortunes of the team.

Cricket can also be proud of the fact that today there is a Prime Minister of a nation who also has the ability to analyse the game. Hence, the PCB will be forced to function more professionally.

It is worth recalling that it was Imran who spotted cricketers like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis who went on to become legends of the game.

Imran will expect PCB too to do just the same by ushering in talents who could potentially carve out a name for themselves in the game.

 

Najam Sethi, who resigned as PCB chairman, has done some commendable work, but knowing that Imran would look for fresh energy, has rightly stepped down.

As captain, Imran always wanted the best from his players and will now want the same from the PCB officials too. The selection of Ehsan Mani as the new chairman of the board is a reflection of Imran’s commitment to bring in professionalism into the board.

Mani is undoubtedly the most experienced administrator in Pakistan having not only held the post of International Cricket Council’s president, but many other positions in world cricket too.

Imran hopes to follow an election process for the appointments. Any cricket board, whose officials are appointed and not elected, can become the breeding ground for corruption and favouritism. Like a genuine cricketer who will not sacrifice the game for his personal gains, Imran will ensure all officials are answerable for their actions.

Imran is aware that Pakistan fans do not accept defeats and that many captains have lost their job after defeats.

He will also be the first premier who could be under pressure in case his cricket team faces defeat. It is natural that only the best players will be picked for the matches.

For cricket fans in the subcontinent, Imran’s rise to this post gives hope of a revival of an India-Pakistan series. The PCB will have to play a big role in it with officials who understand diplomacy. The oncoming Asia Cup in the UAE and Pakistan’s performance in it will be of utmost importance not only for Imran, but the PCB too.

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