Former captains offer help to revive Pakistan cricket

October 6th, 2008 - 3:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Oct 6 (IANS) Former Pakistan Test captains have offered to help the country overcome what is a deepening cricket crisis.Former skippers Rameez Raja, Wasim Akram, Inzamam ul Haq and Saeed Anwar and and their former teammate Mushtaq Ahmad met with Federal Law Minister Farooq H Naek in Lahore and discussed the possibility of playing a role in a campaign to save Pakistan cricket.

Naek, a member of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party and a close aide of President Asif Ali Zardari, welcomed their suggestions and favoured setting up a high-powered cricket committee comprising Pakistan’s ex-Test stars to help ensure a smooth functioning of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Naek said a five-man committee comprising former stars should be formed to ensure that cricket is run in a professional manner in Pakistan.

Pakistan cricket is facing hard times as top teams are refusing to tour the country because of security fears. World champions Australia scrapped a Test tour of Pakistan earlier this year while September’s Champions Trophy, which was to be held here, was postponed after five of the eight competing teams raised safety concerns.

Pakistani cricketers are now starved of international cricket and the PCB is facing a financial crunch because of the postponement of the Australia series and the Champions Trophy.

Seeing the grim situation, the ex-Test stars have decided to campaign to save Pakistan cricket. They are suggesting that a World XI should be invited to Pakistan to play a series, saying that such an exercise would help restore the country’s image in the cricket world.

They gave this suggestion during an hour-long meeting with Naek.

Naek said that these cricketers should be given a wider role by including them in a committee that can help curtail the powers of the PCB chairman.

Raja, one of the most vocal of the cricketers who met Naek, made it clear that he and his fellow players had no hidden agenda. “We don’t want anything from Pakistan cricket, we are just offering our help,” he told reporters.

Inzamam said that a collective effort is needed to boost Pakistan cricket. He also appealed for lifting the ban on cricketers playing in the breakaway Indian Cricket League (ICL).

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