The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) seemed to have made peace with conflict of interest issues in the past, but now it has put its foot down. Coaches must pick: National teams or domestic franchise teams. PCB has barred coaches from doing both.

Along with Misbah-ul-Haq, the Head Coach of the Pakistan National Team, who else falls under this new restriction?

Four of the six franchises in the PSL now have a decision to make. Abdul Razzaq, who is currently the head coach of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is associated with Quetta Gladiators as bowling coach. Southern Punjab’s head coach Abdul Rehman is a part of Multan Sultans’ franchise as an assistant coach. Faisal Iqbal is associated with Balochistan and Karachi Kings while Mansoor Rana is serving as Lahore Qalandars’ batting coach as well as Pakistan Team Manager.

The PCB has been under the pump from many quarters regarding its conflict of interest policy and its implementation for quite some time now. However this time around, the cricket governing authority in the country seems pretty serious in resolving this issues.

Just two weeks ago, Islamabad United parted ways with Misbah-ul-Haq and appointed former South African all-rounder Johan Botha as their head coach. This decision was made citing the 44-year-old’s commitment to the national side as well as the franchise’s poor performance in the last edition of the tournament, which saw them finish last in the table.

In December 2019, Misbah-ul-Haq was named as the head coach of the Islamabad United. A few months earlier he was appointed as the Head Coach, Chief Selector and Batting Coach of Pakistan’s national team. Misbah and PCB both faced strong criticism for this decision. Pundits, former cricketers, and as well as the owners of the other five franchises were of the view that it will create nepotism in the side as Misbah’s natural inclination will be towards his franchise players.

At the time PCB’s CEO Wasim Khan backed this decision and supported Misbah by saying that we have allowed him to take the coaching role for Islamabad United as it will help him to gain more experience which in turn will help Pakistan’s national team.

Wasim said, ‘Allowing Misbah to coach at the PSL would ultimately benefit Pakistan. During his time in the PSL he will not get salary from the PCB for his role with the Pakistan national team.’

It has been a long-standing issue. Previously Mickey Arthur also served as the head coach of both the national team and Karachi Kings. With Arthur, Azhar Mahmood was also part of both setups for two years. It always has been a complex model and the personnel and the board authorities have faced severe criticism.

This decision comes at a time when the sixth edition of the PSL is about to start in a month time. It will be interesting to see whether franchises will take up this matter with the PCB in the Board of Governors (BOG) meeting on Friday.

Furthermore, individuals associated with dual roles will also have to make some big decisions in the coming week. It will be interesting to see which role the coaches will be ready to relinquish.

Last year PCB stopped Misbah from participating in the selection process on the PSL draft day. The same solution might be presented once again, however, the recent developments hint that PCB is not ready to back off from its position, this time around.


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