Ads 468x60px

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Govt and cricket

Just a day after the International Cricket Council (ICC) banned its member nations from making political appointments to national cricket boards, the Sri Lankans announced that they accepted the ruling and had disbanded an interim committee appointed by their government to run cricket in the island. But Pakistan, where a gentleman handpicked by the government is running a one-man show, is a different story. What a top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official told the media after his return early on Saturday morning from Hong Kong which hosted the ICC moot shows the extent of government meddling in our cricket affairs. PCB’s Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmed made it clear that the Board would decide its course of action on the ICC ruling after discussing the issue with the government. “How we implement this reform will depend on our talks with the government,” Ahmed told reporters. However, the writing is on the wall for the PCB bigwigs. The ICC executive board has given cricket boards 12 months to implement free elections and another 12-month grace period before any sanctions would be considered against a member nation.

According to the ICC, the idea behind this move is to free cricket from undue influence and outright government meddling. The reform allows the ICC to suspend a member country in the event of government interference in the running of a national cricket board. Unsurprisingly, the ICC move has been welcomed by people like Imran Khan, the former Pakistan Test captain, who is a staunch critic of the current PCB set-up. Political meddling is certainly spoiling our cricket. PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt has been heavily criticised for his poor policies both at home and abroad. But he continues to weather all sorts of storms because he has the backing of President Zardari who, as the PCB’s chief patron, has the powers to hire or fire Board chiefs. Because of such direct political involvement, it is difficult to run Pakistan cricket in a transparent manner. There isn’t much accountability either. It is time our government learnt to separate sports from politics.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...