Pakistan board may come under sports ministry

Islamabad, Apr 27 : The Pakistan Senate's Standing Committee on Sports has reportedly warned the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that it risks losing its autonomy and being placed under the control of the Pakistan Sports Ministry if it does not get its act together and restore the image of Pakistan cricket.

"They (PCB) officials have been told in clear words that all's not well in Pakistan cricket. They were told that things will soon change with a government legislation that would end the days of free rides enjoyed by the PCB bosses," Senator Enver Baig, one of the active members of the Senate committee, told The News. Baig revealed that the PPP-led government is working on a bill that would be presented before the Parliament in the coming months, and added that the government has taken a serious note of the deteriorating standard of sports in Pakistan.

"The government is concerned over the decline of sports like cricket, hockey and squash and wants to ensure that things are improved through some concrete measures."

He said that the government will bring sports bodies like the PCB, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) directly under the control of the Sports Ministry.

"Independently, these bodies have failed and now its time that the government took control of our sports," he said.

"As a nation we used to take pride in the achievements of our sportsmen, but sadly that's not the case anymore," said Baig.

The Senator said that it was decided during the meeting that the top PCB officials will be summoned again within the next four weeks to discuss the Board's finances

Meanwhile, PCB officials in a comprehensive briefing given to the Senate committee revealed its performance since October 2006 along with its short and long term plans in a comprehensive manner.

Shafqat Naghmi, PCBƒs Chief Operating Officer, told Senators on Saturday that the development of new 100 cricket grounds at district level, establishment of 11 regional cricket academies and up-gradation of cricket stadiums all over Pakistan will be the hallmark of Board's development plans.

Naghmi described the PCB as an asset.

PCB Chairman Nasim Ashraf said the Board has long term and short term objectives and to ensure a winning combination for the 2011 World Cup.


Story first published: Sunday, April 27, 2008, 15:15 [IST]
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