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Party !!! at PCB .. by Army Invitation only!

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    Party !!! at PCB .. by Army Invitation only!

    How is to blame hmmm a million dollar question Pakistani Cricket is a mirror reflection of Pakistani politics .. i.e. a corrupt politician is in power over thrown by army and then the army takes over the government and in a drive to rout the corruption out it becomes one of them !
    Read the following from The News you will see how Taqeeer the designated Bozo of Pakistan Clown Forces is running the show at PCB .. Invitation

    Party time at PCB

    Masood Hasan

    There was a time when only half a dozen men were required to run the BCCP. Now, at the PCB's Lahore headquarters, it is no longer possible to walk without hitting a traffic jam of army personnel of assorted ranks. Majors, colonels, brigadiers spill over into the corridors and even the general's ADC has a room to himself, as and when he is not flying around the country or the world. How much cricket, he is handling from his vantage point, one doesn't know. There are more mobiles in evidence than flies and just about everyone is tooling about in all expenses-paid cars. Cricket may or may not be going places, but its many 'professionals' are having a ball; it doesn't matter if it's a red or a white one. In Karachi, there are reportedly another 15 armed forces pros running the show and Rawalpindi is not lagging behind too far. It seems that no longer is it possible to run cricket without people tripping over themselves. Of course there will be no end to explanations--not that any will be offered, why so many are required to run cricket. As things go, the Chief and Director Operations (what operations?) are both serving officers, one a general and the other a brigadier. The Manager, a retired brigadier, has caused scandals and embarrassment wherever he goes and is well known for having a foot-in-the-mouth disease, with fights in Kenya and other equally banal occurrences to his credit.

    Agreed that Pakistan is playing far more than it used to in the times of skipper Kardar, but at the same time technology has made such stupendous advances that what required a batallion can be performed by a fraction of that number at twice the speed and four times the efficiency. So why are there so many people and who has the authority to hire them? What are their precise responsibilities and what procedures have been followed in making these appointments? Were these posts advertised and which board was constituted to screen the candidates? These are all perfectly irrelevant questions in a country where the silliest word is 'Why'. But, perhaps the happy Mangla commander can shed some light on the rank and file that is swarming over cricket's administration.

    One also hears that his own daughter, no doubt a bright spark, is now a media consultant, consulting which media, we of course don't know. Why has there been a need to hire her services and have the board's relations with the media improved since she took over the country's press boxes? The Media Chief (her boss) is a retired general's son and believe it or not, a doctor by profession. What magic prescription has he come up with since he assumed this role? Now there is a colonel who has been appointed over the doctor to supervise his performance. Everybody is climbing the happy totem-pole.

    The Selection Board has no say in the team selection. There are stories that the team is drawn up by an unknown figure, which the chief signs and passes out. The selectors have the option to quit but don't have the guts and in any case the money's good. Every decision is based on whims and personal agendas. Players like Qaiser Abbas, Younis Khan, Mohammad Waseem and Mohammad Akram have been consigned to the dustbin. Javed Miandad has successfully had his nephew, Faisal Iqbal wormed into the Pakistan 15. With two 50s in his entire first class career, he has a lucrative job, traveling around with the team for the last 18 months. He doesn't have much talent but he is in and will soon play. In the meantime, uncle Miandad, has ensured that all cricket pitches at all the test centers are stone dead, personally standing over the graveyards of test cricket and shaving away every blade of grass.

    The two lifeless tests and a third one which we lost at Karachi played to empty stadiums, is the most befitting tribute to all those who are responsible for this great game's demise. The grounds-men may not be able to prepare the bouncy tracks that produce strokes and snicks into slips, but they are helpless as the wickets are 'killed' to ensure a defeat which doesn't threaten jobs, perks and privileges. If test cricket is murdered, so what? Such is the 'vision' of our cricket dons that all eyes are on the next World Cup, as if a one-day tournament is our ultimate goal in life. This kind of fallacious thinking can only come from people who have no understanding of the real game.

    Cricket's affairs are in serious turmoil. Just because the army is running it, does not mean that their flawed policies cannot be questioned, because the game is far bigger than the men who run it. The amount of money that is being blown at utterly useless things is assuming scandalous proportions. Apart from ad hoc appointments and quite unnecessary ones, there are other harebrained projects that are eating into the board's coffers. The two gates built at the Qaddafi Stadium at a reported cost of Rs4.2 million, are totally ridiculous. There was neither a need for them nor have they added anything to the stadium's facilities. Can you imagine what that amount could have done for the real promotion of the game? Nayyar Dada's exquisite design of upright pillars has been demolished at Lahore, so that important personalities can drive all the way up to the fence. Otherwise, there was no need for this strange decision.

    The electronic scoreboard, much touted and talked about, is a farce. It is probably the only one in the world, which is orange in colour. In terms of visual clarity and impact, it is a disaster. How much did it cost or more importantly, how much did somebody make on this, is another matter. It never worked in Rawalpindi and was then hauled away to Faisalabad where it bathed everything in its eerie orange glow. High tech? Give me a break! The new cricket board, families and all, now travel with full regalia wherever the team goes. Five-star hotels are packed, air travel is free and the good times never stop.

    Recently, a letter in the newspaper from a man who made the mistake of buying a ticket and going to a match with his family, deserves reading. With all the general's paratroopers in operation, what we have achieved this winter is lathi-charging and tear-gassing all the genuine ticket buyers. However, you will be glad to know that at the PBC, it is party time folks, so let's rock and roll.

    Hey one more thing
    These things are hard to explain
    For some it seems strange... to swallow
    The frontier of our minds
    Is the last place we find
    But maybe the first place we should go


    If these soldiers have enough time on their hands to play at being cricket selectors, then maybe we should cut the defence budget further?