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Friday Jul 14 2017

PCB set to cut 'politically influenced' selection in regional teams

Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Division One Final - AFP File Photo 

Heraclitus of Ephesus, the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, had said “the only thing that is constant is change.” There is a strong demand – yet unheard – for a change in the country’s political front, but that does not seem to be the case for Pakistan cricket.

One may have lost count of how many times Pakistan’s domestic structure was changed during the last two decades in the name of reform, but only to be changed once again in subsequent years.

The stakeholders of domestic cricket in Pakistan have proposed some more changes to the country’s prestigious first-class cricket tournament, the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. This time, the change is going to alter the already existing selection process of the players in an attempt to make the tournament more competitive.

The new proposal orchestrated by PCB’s domestic affairs committee will be tabled for formal approval from the Board of Governors of PCB on July 28. The proposal aims to cut the political influence of regional cricket in selection of players.

According to the proposed idea, eight regional teams participating in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy will be provided a draft list of players from which each of the regions will pick 12 players, and the rest of eight players will be selected from the performers of inter-district tournaments in respective regions.

The draft list will consist of 150 players who are otherwise likely to miss the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy because their respective departments couldn’t qualify for the top level and those who have performed at the grade II level but couldn’t get a chance to perform at the top level.

The architects of this idea feel this will restrict the politics of regional associations which are usually seen as rampant with nepotism and favouritism and will also provide equal opportunity to performers from all over the country.

“The purpose of this move is to enhance the quality and competition at the first class level and bring regional teams at par with departmental first class teams,” said Shakeel Sheikh, member PCB’s Board of Governors.

“This proposal has been discussed in the last meeting and same will be presented to the board of governors and at once it is approved, this will be implemented,” he added.

Shakeel, however, added that regions’ say will always be there in making a final team for the tournament.

The draft system was first introduced in Pakistan Super League before making it feature in Pakistan’s domestic tournament Pakistan Cup. Many believed that the draft system provided equal opportunity to all regions to field a strong team in the tournament.

The move while providing regional teams an equal chance to field top players in the squads, will also help PCB in making domestic cricket immune from selections which can be seen as nepotism.


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