PCB chiefs back Pakistan team despite ‘below expectation’ World Cup performance

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LAHORE: The Board of Governors of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has put their “faith, support and confidence” in the Pakistan cricket team despite their “below expectation” performance ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

The discussion on the team’s performance took place during the 54th meeting of the PCB’ Board of Governors in Lahore on Wednesday presided over by Chairman Ehsan Mani.

According to the press release, the Board had a discussion on the Pakistan cricket team’s recent performance across all formats.

“The members agreed the team’s performance in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 to date has been below expectation, but expressed faith, support and confidence in the side, and hoped they will utilise all their talent and potential in the remaining matches to bounce back strongly and finish on a high,” the Board said in a press release.

However, the Board added that it would carry out “a robust review and analysis of the side’s and the team support personnel’s performances in the past three years” following the World Cup, and that it would submit the recommendations to the Chairman and the BoG for their consideration.

The meeting comes a day after Chairman Mani spoke to Pakistan team captain Sarfaraz Ahmed on phone and directed him to ignore baseless media reports and solely focus on the remaining games of the World Cup tournament.

The chairman also motivated the skipper and told him that the team has not yet been eliminated from the tournament hence it should give its best in the coming matches. He said that the team should not divert its attention from the game, remain calm and always remember that the fans have high hopes from them.

Quetta’s Bugti stadium to be commercialised

In other matters discussed during the meeting today, the Board approved a proposal to commercialise the Bugti Cricket Stadium in Quetta, agreeing on setting up a Working Group to draft and submit detailed proposals on the matter.

“I am grateful to the BoG for their support and the approval of the Bugti Cricket Stadium’s commercialization with an aspiration of becoming a world-class centre. This will prove to be a game-changer for Quetta and the region as it will generate significant revenues that will be reinvested into cricket to provide bigger and better opportunities for the whole community,” said PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani.

During the meeting, PCB Managing Director Mr Wasim Khan said that, as part of investing in developing and up-skilling officials, a discussion has taken place with an official of the England and Wales Cricket Board to send Pakistani first-class umpires to England to officiate in second eleven cricket in 2020.

He said an in-principle partnership was reached with Warwickshire County Cricket Club to send young players and coaches as part of an exchange programme.

“It’s the commitment and resolve of this set-up that it will invest in developing its assets and resources. Our recent investment into our pathway cricket and a comprehensive National Cricket Academy Programme 2019-2020 are an illustration of that commitment,” the PCB managing director.

“Now, we are expanding our reach, and utilising our goodwill and contacts with other Boards to provide further foreign exposure to our high-performing match officials and cricketers. The PCB is confident this will contribute significantly to a stronger Pakistan cricket.”

The press release said the Board also ratified last month’s approved circular resolutions and approved the appointment of Deloitte as independent external auditors for the 2018-2019 financial year and the management’s proposed budget.

“The BoG congratulated the PCB on earning the hosting rights of the ACC Asia Cup T20 2020 in September next year, and appreciated the PCB’s efforts in engaging with the ICC Members as part of their efforts for the normal resumption of international cricket in Pakistan,” it said.

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani, members Asad Ali Khan, Lt Gen (R) Muzammil Hussain, Kabir Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Imran Farookhi, Muhammad Ayaz Butt, Shahrez Abdullah Khan, Shahdost, and ex-officio Akbar Durrani and attended the meeting.