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Thursday, June 23, 2011

PCB to overhaul club structure

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday revealed plans of overhauling the country’s club cricket structure following a meeting of its Governing Board in Lahore.

Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, said that the Board will make all out investment in lifting club cricket all over the country.

The Board has decided to appoint former Pakistan Test spinner Abdul Qadir as the project’s coordinator. Qadir, who resigned as Pakistan’s chief selector after falling out with Butt in 2009, is expected to get the support of several other former Test cricketers including Sarfraz Nawaz, a former Pakisan fast bowler. Sarfraz has been an ardent critic of PCB but softened his stance against the Board during its bitter dispute with former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi.

According to the PCB, Sarfraz has been offered to join the project but the Board is still awaiting his response. Ijaz Ahmed, a former Pakistan Test batsman, is also expected to be hired for the project.

The Board has also decided to award contacts to 20 players from each of its 11 regions.

Speaking to reporters, Butt said that the PCB will make best possible efforts to revive the Pakistan-India series.

He also rejected the impression that the PCB has been suffering from major losses by hosting its ‘home’ matches on neutral venues. According to him, some of the series played abroad are profitable while others end in financial losses for the Board.

Security problems in Pakistan have forced the PCB o host its ‘home’ matches on offshore venues in UAE and England.

The PCB’s governing board approved the budget but did not disclose its total amount. “A deficit budget has been approved,” said Butt.

He claimed that the board had various plans to overcome the deficit. “We have plans to lift club cricket so that our domestic cricket improves and for that we have planned around 5,000 matches at club level in the country in the next season.”

He added that PCB was also making efforts to host its own Twenty20 league, modelled on the lucrative Indian Premier League.

“We want to stage our own Twenty20 league although we do not have the expertise but we are still trying,” he added. A panel of 12 lawyers has also been appointed to help the PCB on the legal front.
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