Ministry cannot represent Pak at ICC: Ex-players

Some of Pakistan's top former players have urged the government to stop sports minister Najamuddin Khan from representing the nation at the ICC.

updated: October 09, 2008 17:38 IST
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Some of Pakistan's top former players have urged the government to stop sports minister Najamuddin Khan from representing the nation at the ICC Executive Board meeting this month.

Former captains Rameez Raja, Wasim Akram, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Saeed Anwar and leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed met the law minister Farooq Naek today in Lahore to give suggestions for improving the Pakistan cricket set-up.

"The minister unfortunately is not aware at all of the cricket issues and he is not well informed enough to push Pakistan's cases which would be unfortunate as the meeting will decide on the new dates for the Champions Trophy," Wasim said.

Najamuddin announced himself as acting PCB Chairman after Nasim Ashraf resigned in August and the post was lying vacant since then.

The former players also urged Naek to ask President Asif Zardari to appoint a new Chairman so that the cricket affairs can be put back on track.

Naek told newsmen that the government was keen to appoint a new Chairman as soon as possible.

"I have assured the players that I will talk to the sports minister and send someone who has knowledge of cricket," Naek said.

The law minister also heads a 15-member committee which has been constituted by the sports ministry to recommend amendments in the PCB constitution to make it more democratic and transparent.

Naek and the players agreed that Pakistan cricket was already facing great challenges and the spectre of terrorism had derailed the sporting events in the country this year.

Naek said Cricket had badly suffered in Pakistan due to terrorism and the government was keen to fight terrorism so that normalcy returns in all walks of life.

He said amendments were necessary in the constitution as it was neither balanced nor transparent.

Rameez said the former players also told the minister that the sports ministry should not have undue interference in the Board affairs as PCB has always functioned independently and is financially self sufficient.

The sports minister last week said he will represent Pakistan in the ICC Executive Board meeting in Dubai on October 13 and 14 and would raise the issue of Australia refusing to tour the country over security fears.

Inzamam said he discussed the issue of the bans on players, who aligned with Indian Cricket League.

"The minister has assured us that these players would be given a fair hearing and the government would not allow the Board to take one sided decisions against players, who are earning their bread and butter through cricket," Inzamam said.

Wasim Akram said Pakistan has enormous talent and they need to be groomed properly.

"Pakistan has plenty of talented players in the back-up, the need is to groom these players and once the Board achieves that, the team will have proper back up.