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Iqbal raises serious questions over glaring mistakes by PCB

Abdul Mohi Shah
Thursday, Jan 20, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Former Test cricketer and one of the notable figures in cricketing circles Iqbal Qasim called for initiating an inquiry into two of the most glaring happenings that brought bad name to the country as well as its cricket, saying those responsible must be punished for failing to perform their duties.

In an exclusive talk with ‘The News’, the former chief selector said that instead of taking credit for suspending the Under-16 and Under-13 cricket, the inquiry should have been completed by now as to why overage players were allowed to compete in these age-restricted events. “When you fail to check the flaws and weaknesses in time then this failure leads to disgrace. There is nothing to boast about this suspension rather it should be a rude awakening call for the concerned officials. In fact, it should be a matter of grave concern and shame for all those responsible for selecting overage players in these age-restricted national events.

“Why a player who looks above the required age has broken into the Under-13 or Under-16 top domestic teams for national events. The selectors were there to conduct facial scrutiny and the system is also there (with the help of Shaukat Khanum Hospital) to go through the wrist and bone verification. Why someone has failed to perform his duties, bringing in a bad name to the country’s cricket? Why there was no timely check on players’ age? This is a blunt failure, inviting a thorough probe and inquiry.”

Iqbal Qasim said that instead of taking credit for an issue that has brought a bad name to the country the PCB should have come up with an appropriate answer.

“No one realises here how news or junior cricket suspension would have been perceived internationally. Some of our cricketers have already been blamed in the past for hiding their age. Now such a piece of news emerging from the PCB has strengthened a negative impression. Instead of openly declaring that these events are suspended on cricketers’ age issues, these must have been halted on the pretext of the growing Covid-19 cases and inquiry should have been launched privately as to who was at fault for such a glaring miss. Unfortunately by openly declaring the failure of the system, the PCB has exposed the country’s cricket for international criticism.”

The former chief selector was also critical of the private league’s decision on Mohammad Husnain’s bowling action.

“Husnain has been playing international cricket for some years now and never was questioned anywhere in the world on his bowling action. Husnain has come through a system supervised by the PCB. If he has any action (which I think he doesn’t), the PCB’s highly paid experts should know about that else this private league with the name of Big Bash League should be made answerable to such a step that is beyond their jurisdiction. We have some highly talented pacers knocking at the doors for a permanent place on the national squad and it is PCB’s responsibility to protect them. Why the former cricketers looking after the NCA have taken mum on this highly deplorable step taken by the Big Bash officials. The PCB must come hard on BB’s ill move that is nothing more than an attempt to discourage Pakistani youngsters. And if there is any hitch in Hussain’s bowling why the highly paid experts have done nothing to rectify his action during all these years. Both the cases need a thorough inquiry in an effort to save the future of Pakistan cricket.”