PCB to prepare Australian like pitches for team’s T20 CWC preparation

ISLAMABAD, Jul 04 (APP): When it comes to prepare the national team for ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) would pull out all the spots in their capacity to train and send a strong outfit in the mega event beginning later this year, in Australia.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja on Monday revealed to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) held here, that in order to prepare the national team for the World Cup, the board would be bringing in mud from Australia to prepare pitches here for players training.

“Our team has to play the World Cup matches in Australia and we want the players to taste the same type of training as if they are playing on the Australian pitches.

Therefore we will be bringing in mud and curators from Australia, to prepare pitches like there,” he said.

The Standing Committee on IPC which was held under the chairmanship of Member National Assembly (MNA) Nawab Sher was attended by MNA’s Ms Wajihia Qamar, Syeda Nosheen Iftikhar, Ch Zulfiqar Ali Bhinder, Zulfiqar Ali Behan, Ms Shahida Rehmani and Dr Mahreen Razzaq Bhutto. The IPC Ministry Secretary, Pakistan Sports Board Director General and other officials were also present in the meeting.

The PCB Chairman who has many things on the cards to boost the game of cricket in the country, briefed the committee on the board’s working and achievements.

“The game’s graph is going up, we are improving on the ICC rankings and have 75 percent winning ratio. Our reserves are increasing and Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) season also went very well.”

“We will also be launching Pakistan Junior League in October and Pakistan Women’s League in February,” he said.

However, Raja said improvement was needed on the infrastructure. “We need to improve the stadiums. We will be installing new chairs at stadiums in Pindi and Karachi, respectively and new pitches in over 110 cricket clubs. PCB was spending 75 percent of its budget on cricket.”

To a question on having a bullet-proof car, the PCB Chairman said he had death threats therefore he had to use the vehicle.

Speaking about the resumption of international cricket in Pakistan, Raja said the English and New Zealand would be playing extra matches against Pakistan here.

Citing the example of cricketer Shahnawaz Dahani, he said talented players were coming to fore in cricket. “We have projects with Sindh and Balochistan for the development of grounds,” he said.

“This month PCB will also be grooming over 100 players who will get free education, training and stipends,” he said.

The PCB Chairman also requested the committee to help the board in getting early process on lease of grounds. Even laying out a pitch on the ground takes up to six months and if the lease process is quick then we can work on the grounds as early as we can.”

PCB Director Nadeem Khan also briefed the committee on various projects going on with the provinces in order to boost the game. “We will be signing a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) this Thursday with the Punjab government for 33 grounds for the betterment of the game,” he said.

In the meeting, MNA Dr Mahreen Razzaq Bhutto’s curiosity to know the answers of her questions regarding the details of annual income, expenditures of PCB, salary, allowances, incentives of board’s chairman and employees, went in vain as she had to put in a lot of effort to get the desired replies, but still board officials were unable to give full-satisfactory answers to her questions.

Meanwhile, the agenda item on prevention of offences in Sports Bill 2020 moved by Ex-MNA Late Iqbal Muhammad Ali was returned.

The committee members also offered fatiha for the departed soul of Ex-MNA Late Iqbal Muhammad Ali, who was very actively involved in sports matters and was always present in the committee meetings to give tough time to Sports officials.

However the committee members expressed displeasure on the absence of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president from the meeting.

And as a result the Committee Chairman and members didn’t listen to PHF secretary Asif Bajwa on the national game affairs, who was present in the meeting.

Bajwa, however assured the committee on the availability of the president in the next meeting.