Pakistan’s former captain and top opposition leader Imran Khan has strongly criticised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and a top official of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for damaging the sport in the country. In a series of tweets, Imran who led Pakistan to their only World Cup title in 1992 accused Sharif of appointing an “election fixer” to “fix” Pakistani cricket.
Although, Imran Khan didn’t take any name but the reference was seen as hinting at Najam Sethi, a former PCB chairman who now heads the board’s executive committee. “The reason cricket has, unlike elsewhere, failed to become an institution in Pak is because here PM appoints PCB Chief,” Imran Khan tweeted.
“Correct analysis of current cricket crisis can lead to reforms & take Pak to top of world cricket. Incorrect analysis will compound failure,” he said in another tweet. Sethi served as a caretaker Chief Minister in Punjab province when the general elections were held and when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came into power. (Also read. Pakistan team arrives to hostile reception in Lahore and Karachi)
Imran Khan has in the past accused Sethi of fixing the election. He said Sharif has “perfected the art of cronyism” and had appointed an “election fixer” to “fix” Pakistani cricket. The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader also blamed “political pressure” and “cronyism” for the international team’s “consistent poor performances.”
Imran Khan’s solution to Pakistan’s woes is to “insulate” cricket from “political pressure.” He also maintained that domestic cricket structure needed to be overhauled so that it can produce players with the right “temperament” and “technique.” Imran called for increasing the number of cricket grounds and said the PCB should stop unnecessary expenditures.
He proposed a domestic cricket circuit on the lines of Australia, where all talent is “concentrated in six regional teams” and all departments instead of fielding their own teams should support the regional teams.