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Chairman PCB Mohsin Naqvi interacts with media in Lahore

Lahore, 24 March 2024: Chairman PCB Mr Mohsin Naqvi held a press conference on Sunday afternoon, at the headquarters of Pakistan Cricket, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore. During the press conference, the chairman announced that the selection committee has been reorganised. Four members of the new selections committee – namely, Asad Shafiq, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq – were also present at the press conference.

“We have reorganised the selection committee. It will comprise seven members, and each will have equal power. There will be no Chief Selector so that there can be healthier debate. Each of the member selected to be part of the committee have been thoroughly deliberated upon. Four former players, the captain and head coach will also be part of the committee. A data analyst will also sit on the committee. There will be coordinators too, but they will not have voting power.”

“The selection committee will make all the decisions going forward. I have conveyed that the chairman will not be involved in any decisions regarding the selection. I back this selection committee and believe that they will produce desirable results.

He also talked about finalising a panel of coaches, who would be working closely with the selection committee, “We will be sending some players to the PMA Kakul camp which I believe would have positive impact of the physical fitness of our players, as well as the team bonding. We are currently also working on finalising coaches. We will confirm the news whenever the time comes as I do not believe in making premature statements.

“We will have a panel of coaches, that will be permanent. We will make use of players sitting in the selection committee as well, like Mohammad Yousuf is currently attached with the Men’s Under-19 team. I believe that people who understand our current crop of players – their strengths and weaknesses – should be employed to make sure we extract the most from our national team.

“The matter of captaincy is being deliberated upon. I believe that the captain is the selection committee’s prerogative. They are working on it and I am sure they will finalise their decision after the camp is completed. But once the captain is finalised – whether it is Shaheen Shah Afridi or someone else – we will stick by him for a long time. No matter what the results are on the field, the selection committee will be held accountable. If the captain does not have a say in the team, you cannot hold him accountable as he leads the team. Same with the head coach, because he has to run the dressing room.”

When asked about Imad Wasim’s decision to take back his retirement, the chairman said, “Our focus right now is the World Cup and his inclusion makes the team stronger. We have not discussed NOCs with him but we want him to play for the country. It will be the same for the rest of players. As for Haris Rauf, there was some misunderstanding. His contract has been reinstated and we are currently working on his injury. He is our star player and we have to look after him.

“There will be no relaxation on NOCs. We will follow policies as per the contracts. No player will be exempted. We will not be paying heed to any lobbying.”

Talking about PCB’s finances, the chairman said, “Whatever profit we make, should be invested back in cricket. Securing coaches and solving current problems should be priority and that’s what the money will be used for. The money will 100 per cent be used for the betterment of cricket in this country.

“I will exercise the powers given to me by the constitution. As far as the team is concerned, progress takes time. I am looking at long-term goals. You cannot expect everything to change overnight. We will do our level best and work very hard, but the results are up to God.”

When asked about the expansion of HBL PSL, the chairman said, “We want to launch the Women’s league and we have also started talking about expanding HBL PSL. We have discussed the possibility of having eight teams.”

Addressing the Champions Trophy scheduled for next year, he said, “We are planning to host the Champions Trophy in Pakistan and we will leave no stone unturned for it. We discussed the matter during the recently held ICC meeting in Dubai, where we reiterated our commitment towards hosting the event. The ICC team is reaching Pakistan today. We will be collaborating with them. The three stadiums- Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi- are being readied for Champions Trophy. We will then upgrade venues in Quetta and Peshawar too.

The chairman also emphasised upon the need to separate politics from cricket as he explained that boycotts hurt the economy of the country. When asked to share about his plans for women’s cricket, the chairman said he does not want to make false promises. He reiterated that the board is working on plans for women’s cricket and whenever something is concretised, the announcement will be made.