With the new government installed, we can see many changes in different institutions. Usually, the governments place their favorite persons in the key position. If it does not disrupt the ongoing process, that is perfectly fine, otherwise, it delays the outcomes. The Prime Minister is Patron in chief of the Pakistan cricket board. They usually install their favorite Chairman. As a cricket person, Imran Khan had appointed Ramiz Raja as the Chairman of PCB. And we could see the changes and how 2021 has been the best year for Pakistan’s cricket. From the prolific performances in T20 WC, PSL 7 successful edition to Australia’s visit to Pakistan after 24 years, we have had Rizwan, Babar, Shaheen, and many players going through their career-best years. The new part is the provincial teams replaced that domestic cricket to get more exposure. Now PCB will revive domestic cricket again. We find mixed reviews about that.
Ehsan Mazari, Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Communication, said that they will revive the departmental cricket system. It will accommodate the players and officials as the regional cricket had limited the employment opportunities. Abandoning domestic cricket was met with criticism as many players, coaches, and even ground staff lost their jobs within their respective departments and clubs.
Hasan Ali’s suggestions
Hasan Ali proposed, “I feel that instead of a complete overhaul, they can make some basic changes to the current structure to improve the situation. So, for example, they can increase six regional teams to ten or more and ask departments to form their teams again, which will cause many more cricketers to have time to play. Whoever was involved in department teams had some aspirations to play for those departments and earn their livelihood, and then find a place on the national side as well. We had a lot of departmental and regional teams before, and I feel that having more teams and therefore more cricket, would be beneficial for Pakistan.”
He also added, “What we have now is that many players have left the game or supplementing their income with menial jobs. Some players have even gone to the USA to play cricket which tells you that there are fewer opportunities for playing cricket in Pakistan.”
According to him, international teams touring Pakistan will boost the young player’s spirit and morale. “Youngsters will be inspired by seeing their local stars compete against top talent from around the world.”
Shahid Afridi also shared his views on it
Shahid Afridi "Whenever I talk to firstclass cricketers they tell me they do miss department cricket because domestic cricketers feel secure due to department cricket and I myself has played department cricket throughout my career."
— Arfa Feroz Zake (@ArfaSays_) April 25, 2022
Majid Khan proposes a new system
Former Cricketer, Majid Khan said that neither the departmental system nor a six-team structure is going to work. He proposed that ‘a system in which departments sponsor the divisional sides is the one that would benefit all parties.’
He said, “All the 11 divisional teams including one each of Lahore and Karachi, which are larger against many divisions, should play first-class cricket and the interested departments should come forward to sponsor each divisional team. The amount which a sponsor will spend on a divisional cricket, the PCB will also contribute equally to that for the said division.”
He added that the system had a lot of inconsistencies. “If we want to compete with them you have to change your system on strong footings and to show consistency and if you don’t want to compete with them, then it is okay to let going what is going on.”
He said that the former PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani had proposed that departments should sponsor the provincial teams, but this idea failed to get through.
“It is quite easy, as in Pakistan many companies are ready to come forward as they have a lot of opportunities to promote their products through the game of cricket, which is widely popular in Pakistan. You need sincere efforts with a clear vision to earn the trust of those companies to move forward.”
Domestic cricket systems have suffered a lot because of the changing governments,’ which has led to inconsistencies. He gave an example of Australia, “In Australia, the administration starts from club level and then to state and at last at the board’s level, so at the board’s level they are carrying the experience of cricket administration of 30 or 35 years.”
Also for the time, Ramiz Raja is going to stay. As earlier, it was said that Najam Sethi would replace him. It is a sign of relief for the cricket fans. We hope that whatever decision is taken, should be in the interest of the Pakistan Cricket.