In a bid to improve the quality of its feeder level, the Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to go in for a major overhaul of its domestic cricket structure, with the standout decision being the reduction of the number of teams from 16 to 6, with all the banks and departments going out of the system and being replaced by six provinces: Sindh (Karachi, Hyderabad and Larkan), Southern Punjab (Multan and Bahawalpur), Central Punjab (Lahore, Sialkot and Faisalabad), Balochistan (Dera Murad Jamali and Quetta), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Peshawar, FATA and Abbottabad) and Northern areas (Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Azad-Jammu Kashmir). These six provincial teams will now also have their Second XIs, competing in a different set of competitions. For now, due to a limited pool of women cricketers (only around 45 in the country), these associations will not be responsible for running women’s cricket.
Wasim Khan, PCB’s chief executive, said, “If you see countries like India, Australia, and England, the ownership lied with different regions. That was not the case with Pakistan so far, where PCB handled everything. Now, it’s time to give the onus back to the respective regions to develop cricket in their regions. These bodies will have autonomy and they will have to run their own business. In order to have sustainability, this has to be run as a business.” This decision, more than any other taken as a part of this overhaul, will be the one to leave the biggest impact – for the better or for the worse.
When the departments and banks were brought into the domestic set up in the 1970s, it was with a view to providing jobs to the players. However, as the years rolled by, it didn’t serve its purpose, and in turn, affected the quality of cricket. With as many as 592 players playing in the major domestic competitions, the numbers increased but the quality of cricket got diluted. The latest decision leaves only 96 of the best players in the country to be competing in the prime domestic competitions. Read More