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PCB chief summons ex-cricketers for ‘feedback’ on domestic cricket

PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi addresses a meeting. — State Media/File
  • Around 30-35 ex-cricketers will meet PCB chairman on Monday. 
  • Players to give suggestions for improvement in domestic cricket.
  • Board to take them into confidence over three new tournaments. 

LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Mohsin Naqvi has summoned more than two dozen former cricketers to hold consultations regarding the country’s existing domestic cricket system, sources told Geo News on Saturday.

Around 30 to 35 international cricketers, the sources added, will meet Naqvi on Monday and will provide feedback and suggestions regarding improvement in the domestic cricket structure to make it more attractive.

Meanwhile, the cricketers will also be taken into confidence over three new tournaments by the name of “Champions”.

The expected meeting comes as the national side has been under scrutiny and subjected to severe criticism owing to their dismal performance in the T20 World Cup 2024 where the Men In Green failed to even progress to the Super Eight stage.

During the tournament, the Green Shirts showcased below-par performance in all three fields and suffered an upset loss against the minnows United States and a subsequent disappointing defeat against India, resulting in their early elimination from the tournament.

The meeting comes days after the team’s white-ball coach Gary Kirsten submitted his “confidential” assessment report to the PCB chairman regarding the side’s performance in the mega event.

The report, as per the sources, highlights players’ fitness, discipline and game awareness among other things that led to the team’s early exit from the World Cup.

Babar’s future as captain in limbo 

On Thursday, Naqvi, while speaking to reporters in Lahore, had said that star batter Babar Azam’s future as captain will be determined by former cricketers and head coach Kirsten, stressing that no decision had been made in this regard yet.

However, the PCB head didn’t provide any names as to who would be these ex-players.

Naqvi told reporters that no decision should be taken when a person is angry as steps taken in haste are mostly counterproductive.

“I’m only speaking to those former cricketers who are interested in the betterment of Pakistan cricket,” he added. 

Previously, the PCB boss had hinted at “major surgery” in the squad owing to scathing criticism by both the fans and former players.

PCB brings back Yo-Yo test 

Earlier, Geo News while citing sources had reported that Kirsten had expressed concerns over the players’ fitness levels, stating they are not up to the mark.

Following the coach’s reservations, the board has decided to bring back the Yo-Yo test to improve the fitness of the players nationwide, Geo News reported earlier this week.

The Yo-Yo test — a running aerobic fitness assessment that involves running between two sets of cones positioned 20 metres — was not being conducted in the recent past but now Director of Domestic Cricket, Khurram Niazi, has approved a plan to improve fitness.

Fitness tests will be conducted in two phases. In the first phase, fitness tests will be conducted nationwide from July 11 following the approval by the PCB chairman.

Players who fail the fitness tests will be dropped not only from the national team but also from regional teams.

Niazi has made regional contracts and team selection conditional on passing fitness tests.

Test cricketers, international cricketers, and national cricketers must pass all fitness tests, including the Yo-Yo test.

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