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September 8, 2017

The explosion of talents in the rural areas of Pakistan reinvented the game of cricket while since inception of Pakistan the game of cricket remained at top with the performance of legendary Fazal Mehmood. Peter Oborne Author of “Wounded Tiger: A History of Cricket in Pakistan”, said during a discussion on “Cricket in Pakistan” held under the auspicious of the Centre for Governance and Policy of the Information Technology University (ITU) Punjab here today.

In a country riven by ethnic, religious and regional violence, cricket has served as a massive uniting force for Pakistanis, said Peter Oborne

Recalling the successes of Pakistan, Peter Oborne further stated that it was Pakistan who sent South Africa out of cricket and white washed India, Australia and New Zealand and produced genius after genius.  Oborne was in conversation with Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman, Najam Sethi, who echoed his sentiments. “Pakistani nation only comes together for two issues; war and cricket,” said Sethi.

Over the years, the game has moulded Pakistan’s national identity, and Pakistan Cricket Board’s efforts to revitalize the sport have been monumental. According to Sethi, these efforts were exerted on two fronts – improving the management and the game itself. Sethi recalled the long path he took to clean up the organization that was previously rooted in corruption, lethargy, and bureaucratic red tape, and the diplomacy with which PCB convinced foreign players to play on Pakistani grounds during the World XI. He expressed the hope that India has to abide by the rules drawn in the contract with ICC and to honor it.

Oborne lauded all of PCB’s work. He said that cricket had always been a symbol of independence in Pakistan, and keeping up the game was a remarkable achievement by PCB. Both speakers were optimistic about bringing international test matches to Pakistan next year.

Najam Sethi Chairman, Pakistan Cricket Board said that PCB has scheduled to honor its national cricket heroes Shahid Afridi, Misbahul Haq and Younis Khan on September 14, 2017. Elucidating the efforts undertaken for the revival of international cricket in Pakistan, Najam stated that after World eleven, Sri Lankan team was due to play two test, five ODI and 3 T20 series in Pakistan while West Indies was also scheduled to play three matches in the end of November this year at Lahore. International cricket would return back to Karachi next year with two double headers four PSL matches scheduled in February and March, he informed.

He added that managerial problems played havoc in PCB as nothing was done to get the corers of dues from various defaulters while five story “Cricket House” building on jail road had three floor vacant, which could have generated revenue, the criminal negligence closed Ghari Khuda Bux and Bugti Stadiums and pathetic situation of Karachi stadium was being renovated at a cost of Rs.1.5 billion and the Lahore Cricket Academy could not be completed for three years, the bio matric lab  equipment remained packed, which has now  been installed at LUMS being the sixth operational Bio Mechanical Lab in the World  while around 200 political appointees including Musharaf era were expelled and Rs.100 million were saved.