Senate committee grills PCB top brass

Published: Sunday, May 30, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad:The top brass of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), including chairman Shaharyar Khan, came under sharp criticism from the senate standing committee on sports and culture, which termed their explanations for the recent home defeat against India as insufficient and asked them to furnish written replies.

Khan, PCB chief executive Ramiz Raja and chief selector Wasim Bari were grilled by the 13-member committee comprising ruling and opposition members from the Upper House Senate for three hours about the factors that caused the team's first ever series loss at home against the archrivals.

While Khan and Raja attributed the loss of One-day and Test series to various reasons including lack of motivation on the part of team, the latter had a tough time explaining his occupying multiple posts as CEO, television commentator as well as director of a Bank.

The committee members asked Raja how he could justify his job as CEO while simultaneously doing the commentary that too in a series involving the Pakistan team.

Raja, a former captain, defended himself by saying that he loved commentary and made a living out of it while he worked as CEO of the Board without salary.

The PCB top brass informed the committee that the poor performance of the team was due to lack of discipline, coaching and other matters causing the "unpredictable" defeat at the hands of Indian cricket team in the recent series.

Khan told the committee that the most important reason for defeat was that the Pakistan team had only 12 days of training while eight weeks were required, besides the shifting of venues for Tests from Peshawar and Karachi.

"We had to take all steps on the Indian requests so that the major sporting event could materialise, and we were successful in our aim," he said.

Replying to a query of the committee chairman, Khan said that he himself was not satisfied with the result of the series. However, the PCB chairman told the committee that the series has been declared 'The Best Sporting Event of the Year 2004' (by Laureus Sport for Good foundation).

Bari too faced an intense examination over the procedures adopted for selection of the team.

"We need specialised coaching in bowling, fielding and physical training to overcome our lackings shown in the defeat against India," Bari said.

Pakistan will have a chance to avenge themselves against India when they meet in the six-nation Asia Cup in Sri Lanka from July 16 to August 1.

Hosts Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and qualifiers Hong Kong and the UAE are the other teams.

Pakistan will then appear alongside India and world champions Australia in a tri-nation event in the Netherlands from August 20-27.

They then feature in the 12-nation ICC (International Cricket Council) Champions Trophy, playing hosts Zimbabwe for two Tests and five One-day matches before playing three Tests and a tri-nation series in Australia from December to February 2005.

Pakistan is also scheduled to tour India in March-April next year.

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