PCB Go One Up On The ECB

When the Pakistan Cricket Board can be said to have more professional intent than you then you really are in deep doo-doo.  But that is exactly what has happened today with ESPNCricinfo’s exclusive interview with PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf.

To be fair it wouldn’t take much to improve on the efforts of Ashraf’s predecessor Ijaz Butt, but the determination and clarity of Ashraf’s message is clear.  No verbal diarrhoea from this Chairman, just a clear vision of where he wants to get Pakistan cricket and, most importantly, how he’s going to get it there.  Ashraf might as well have said “Giles Clarke! Are you listening? Time for you to remain the laughing stock of world cricket.”

Pakistan’s recent history is well documented.  As the article says

The years between 2008 and 2011 were a low in Pakistan cricket in terms of governance, with frequent disputes between senior players and the board, and a rent-a-quote chairman not showing the tact needed to smooth out the differences.

To call Ijaz Butt a “rent-a-quote chairman” is something of an understatement.  “Loudmouthed blundering halfwit” would have been far more accurate.  Ashraf doesn’t offer any criticism of Butt, instead offering a straight bat in relation to the current situation.  Yates hopes that Ashraf has learned from his predecessor’s many mistakes.  It looks that way, Ashraf talks about giving Pakistan cricket stability, focusing on youth, using the best system and training.  Then crucially he says:

now things have changed and we are here to own things and have learnt the lesson

That’s right, Giles and your feckless four mates.  As my American friends like to say, “Own your s***”.  As far as KPGate is concerned, nobody did and that’s why we’re in the mess we are now.

Ashraf had something obvious to say about player power, a topic that is relevant to recent issues:

One thing must be ensured that the institution is bigger than the player, the PCB won’t allow any player to offset the unity in the team, and each one will have to be responsible for their own performance

I hear the anti-KP brigade screaming “Damn right!”.  So listen to this from Ashraf:

I hope there aren’t any groups within the team but if there is something it will be dealt with strictly

Which is exactly how Andy Flower needs to deal with the Sally Broad – Graeme Swann – James Anderson nexus.  If Flower is going to follow the mantra of “Team Unity”, he needs to make sure that there are no cliques or gangs in Team England.

On the PCB’s constitution Ashraf is also very clear:

I don’t see any flaw in the system or in the constitution, the fault actually lies in the people who are at helm of the affairs. System is here to stay, it has to run with always a room for possible improvement.

That’s a real belter is that.  So here it is again:

the fault actually lies in the people who are at helm of the affairs

Giles, Jabba, Hugh and Andy – are you getting the message now?

It’s ironic that Clarke was head of an ICC taskforce to assist Pakistan in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on test cricketers playing there.

In one gentle interview Zaka Ashraf has left Seedy Giles and his chums sat in the idiot corner.

Nicely played sir! Yates raises his glass to you.