No response from PCB

Source: Published in Sports on Friday, April 11, 2014

LAHORE: While former Test captain Rashid Latif sprang a major surprise for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday, declining to accept the post of chief selector, the position the former wicket-keeper was to take up from April 1, no PCB official was available to comment on this unusual development.

Despite a number of attempts made by Dawn to contact PCB chairman Najam Sethi and his media director Amjad Hussain, both of whom are in Dubai in connection with ICC Board meetings, to get their version on the aforementioned development, no reply was received from either of them till the filing of this report.

However, Dawn has learnt that Rashid, after giving his consent for the job on Feb 26, tried his level best to pick his own team of selection committee members but somehow failed to convince Sethi on the subject.

Sethi, sources said, was not ready to accept Rashid’s suggestion of including former legendary batsman Mohammad Yousuf and ex-Test opener Ali Naqvi in the selection committee.

According to sources, the PCB has reservations about bringing in Yousuf as selector, noting as the master batsman has played alongside several cricketers of the current national squad his role as selector could become controversial in future.

As for Ali Naqvi, the PCB reckons the player is close to former Test opener Aamir Sohail who presently has strained relations with the PCB after he was sidelined by Sethi as NCA Game Development.

After failing to convince Sethi, perhaps Rashid — widely known for his open and clear-cut approach towards cricketing matters — realised fully that it would not be possible for him to work as chief selector independently. Therefore, he preferred to remain out of the PCB.

Meanwhile, sources further said, in another similar case, though the PCB had appointed Basit Ali as cricket consultant of Zone-I (South), but the former Test batsman had not signed the contract yet.

Sources said Basit was also reluctant to accept the post, which he received after he made the headlines by raising doubts about match-fixing in one of the matches of National T20 Cup this year between Karachi Dolphins and Sialkot Stallions.

Later, Basit failed to produce any strong evidence before the PCB probe committee. However, instead of warning Basit for levelling baseless allegations, the PCB appointed him as cricket consultant.