In a candid interview on Geo News’ show Score, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Zaka Ashraf candidly admitted the presence of “too much politics” within the board. During the interview, he delved into various topics, including the prospects of the Pakistan cricket team in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023, central contracts for players, and the Pakistan Super League (PSL) schedule.
When questioned about the political dynamics within the PCB, Ashraf made a brief statement, acknowledging the existence of politics within the organization but refrained from providing further details.
Chairman Zaka Ashraf expressed his optimism regarding Pakistan’s performance in the forthcoming mega cricket tournament, the ICC World Cup 2023. He noted that significant decisions would be based on the team’s performance in the World Cup, indicating the PCB’s commitment to fostering a culture of meritocracy and accountability.
Recently, Pakistani cricketers received a substantial increase in their central contracts, with captain Babar Azam, Muhammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi witnessing a remarkable 202% increment in their remuneration, alongside additional benefits. Zaka Ashraf emphasized that he had assured Babar Azam of the PCB’s full cooperation and clarified that the three-year contracts were closely linked to players’ performance, implying that underperforming players could face contract termination.
Regarding the status of the Pakistan Super League’s ninth edition, Ashraf clarified that a final decision would be made in due course, taking into consideration the prevailing circumstances. He elaborated that players were permitted to participate in two additional leagues besides the PSL, with the issuance of a No Objection Certificate (NOC) being the prerogative of the PCB chair rather than the chief selector, Inzamam-ul-Haq.
Addressing concerns about the selection process, Ashraf raised questions about Inzamam-ul-Haq’s son’s inclusion in the squad for the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, citing concerns about the player’s performance and selection criteria.
Chairman Zaka Ashraf’s acknowledgment of political elements within the PCB underscores the need for transparency and fair practices within the organization. As Pakistan’s cricket journey continues, the focus on merit-based decisions and performance-driven contracts remains pivotal.