Major Surgery

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) circus continues to be on tour and shows no signs of ever shutting up shop. Even attempts at “fixing the mess” are made with such amateurish chaos that they only aggravate the issue. Following a shambolic showing in the T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies, PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi said, “I thought the team required minor surgery to start winning matches, but now it appears that we have to go for major surgery.” However, the nation has known for a while now that it is not the team that needs major surgery, but the PCB itself.

Consider the latest episode: The PCB sacked selectors Wahab Riaz and Abdul Razzaq on Wednesday as a way of affixing blame for the disastrous World Cup. Razzaq was a member of both the men’s and women’s selection committees, while Wahab continued to be the public representative of the men’s seven-member selection committee even after he was removed as panel chief earlier this year. It is worth noting that both appointments were mired in controversy at the time too.

The intent to scapegoat is visible: if the selection committee picked the wrong team, why are only a few people removed and the others kept – a point both former players were quick to make. The way this was communicated is also a problem. Instead of managing events and expectations behind the scenes, the PCB notification has created a public furor, with the outgoing selectors releasing their own statements to protect their reputations. Another vat of acid thrown into what is already a toxic environment.

The answer is simple: the PCB needs to stop being a personal fiefdom of whoever happens to be the Chairman at the moment. The PCB needs to become independent in all but name and professional to the core.

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