Experts to be consulted for World Cup review: PCB chief

Zaka Ashraf highlights issue of NOCs granted to players for participating in leagues before mega tournament

Asher Butt
PCB Management Committee chief Zaka Ashraf. — PCB/File
PCB Management Committee chief Zaka Ashraf. — PCB/File

LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf said the board will take steps in light of experts' advice after the ICC Men's World Cup 2023, The News reported.

In conversation with a select group of journalists on Monday, the PCB chief underlined the matter of No Objection Certificates (NOC) granted to players for participating in different leagues before the mega tournament, which impacted their fitness and performance in the showpiece event.

Speaking about the Babar Azam-led team's performance in the major sporting event, Ashraf highlighted that even England, the defending champions, is below Pakistan in the points table due to their poor show.

He stressed the importance of not criticising players during the event, as it could affect their morale. 

Ashraf mentioned that the experts would evaluate the situation after the World Cup. Zaka expressed his view that players around the world are paid substantial amounts.

He believed that increasing players’ pay for representing the national team and allowing them to participate in a couple of leagues, followed by a break from leagues to fulfill national duties, would be a beneficial approach.

Zaka clarified that he had no political agenda and was keen on improving Pakistan cricket. He stated that he even attempted to cooperate with Najam Sethi for the betterment of Pakistan cricket.

The PCB chief's comments came amid a controversy surrounding chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq's resignation and Babar Azam's leaked Whatsapp chat with a senior board official. 

"People speak without research. Questions were raised on me so I decided that it was better I resign," Inzamam said in a statement.

There were allegations that Inzamam held shares in a company owned by players' agent Talha Rehmani. This disclosure sparked concerns regarding potential conflicts of interest, given that Rehmani represents several of Pakistan's leading cricketers, including Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Ashraf, on the other hand, said Haq's resignation was his own decision which he took without discussing it with him.