LAHORE: Accusing the high-ups of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) running the game like politicians, legendary leg-spinner Abdul Qadir has raised serious questions over new appointments, especially that of chief selector Inzamamul-Haq, and observed that if a coach is essential for the Pakistan team then Sir Vivian Richards should be considered because of his brilliant skills and influence in world cricket.
“The PCB is playing the same game which our politicians play to hoodwink public and divert their attention towards other things after every blunder or tragedy,” said Qadir while speaking to Dawn in an exclusive interview here on Thursday. “Both politicians and the PCB form commissions after every debacle, which is simply an eye wash, and do things to shift the focus.
“After Pakistan team’s failed campaigns at the 2015 World Cup, the Asia Cup and World T20 as well as the junior team’s defeat in the under-19 World Cup, the PCB tried various things to divert the attention of cricket fans and experts but they repeatedly failed in their bid,” observed Qadir.
‘PCB bosses running the game like politicians’
“Instead of taking responsibility for these failures and quit their posts, everyone is passing the buck, putting the blame on each other,” he said.
“Ideally, after sacking head coach Waqar Younis, the selection committee and the captain, three main pillars of PCB Shaharyar M. Khan, Najam Sethi and Subhan Ahmed should have also quit their posts to set a great example.”
Elaborating on his views, Qadir said: “After the team’s poor performance in the 2015 World Cup, the PCB attempted to divert attention by arranging a series with Bangladesh to help save the blushes and restore fortunes. However, Bangladesh shocked us by inflicting a whitewash.
“Then, to cover up that defeat, the PCB diverted the attention by making an attempt to resume international cricket here and managed to bring in Zimbabwe. But the visiting team only agreed to play matches in Lahore,” noted Qadir. “After that, the PCB was expressing hope that the Pakistan Super League (PSL) can also be held in Pakistan but it could not happen and they were forced to stage it in the UAE.”
The spinning wizard appealed to the prime minister to hand over the cricket affairs to an honest and competent cricketer like Majid Khan who can rid Pakistan cricket of its many ills.
Personally, Qadir said, he feels that while Shaharyar is a very clean and soft person, he should not have opted to play his second innings as PCB chairman.
“Shaharyar sahab knew fully well that he will not have the power with him and it is Sethi who will dictate his terms in office, and yet he accepted the job which amazes me. He is a pious man but is misfit to work with Sethi’s strong lobby,” said Qadir.
Qadir, who played 67 Tests and 104 ODIs for Pakistan from 1977 to 1993, also expressed his dissatisfaction at the selection of Inzamam as chief selector.
“I have many reasons to disagree with Inzamam’s appointment,” he said.
“Inzamam was working with Afghanistan team as coach, but the PCB hired his services as chief selector for which he (Inzimam) has zero experience,” said Qadir.
“The Pakistan players are mainly lacking in batting skills and they need a skilful person like Inzamam to guide them as batting coach and that is where he should have been appointed.
“I also have some objection about Inzamam’s role as religious preacher which could coincide with his current position,” he observed.
“I have seen players such as Saeed Anwar and Saeed Ahmed also preaching Islam, but they completely abandoned the world of cricket and glamour and wealth for their cause and had a great impact which I donot see Inzamam doing because he is still very much involved in the game.
“Inzamam is the most expensive chief selector Pakistan has had so far, with a bumper package of Rs900,000 per month. His hand-picked selection committee members are no real big names either. In fact, the names which were earlier mentioned like Rashid Latif, Mohammad Yousuf and Nadeem Khan were most impressive. But he [Inzamam] picked up low-quality players just to have full control over the committee,” Qadir said.
“Inzamam was a great cricketer of his time, but there are definite question marks on his career. And what Shaharyar has written in his own book about Inzamam is no secret either. It is said that a powerful person is behind Inzamam’s appointment, may be the prime minister or someone else. But I have played cricket with Nawaz Sharif and I don’t believe he will come to this level to interfere in these things,” he said.
To a question, Qadir said though he was not in favour of any coach with the national team and it would be better to give a powerful role to the captain and include him as one of the selectors.
“But if the coach is so necessary, I will recommend the name of Sir Vivian Richards as head coach. He is such a great cricketer and should be given a chance to share his experience with Pakistan team.”
Qadir also slammed the role of ex-players Wasim Akram and Ramiz Raja, who have been named as advisers to select the head coach.
“Both Wasim and Ramiz do not want to live in Pakistan, rather prefer to live in India just to earn money. They only come to Pakistan for a short while to earn more money. They are equally responsible in destroying Pakistan cricket,” alleged Qadir.
“I know that they [Wasim and Ramiz] will try to bring an Australian as head coach. But I feel that bringing a foreign coach in the presence of legends like Javed Miandad, Asif Iqbal, Zaheer Abbas is an insult.”
He also said that the PCB should increase the pension of former cricketers as no one could run a home with the current amount of pensions.
“At least, the PCB should follow the standard of pay of the BCCI for pensioners as they did wonders for the country despite very meagre remunerations then.”
Dispelling the impression that no cricketer wants to take the responsibility to train the national Under-19 team, he said the PCB has not showed any interest in this regard but if such proposal is floated, it would see a positive response.
He said former PCB chairman Ijaz Butt might have made many mistakes but he did not see a daring man like him who had completely ended players’ power with his strong decisions.
“We have seen players like Younis Khan, Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal making headlines with their erratic actions for the last 18 months, but none has been penalised to teach a lesson to others.
“It is time for the chief selector to show his guts against such undisciplined players.”
Qadir said Mudassar Nazar was expected as the next NCA director, and even if he succeeds ten per cent in his job, he will be better than a non-technocrat.