The interim management committee of the Pakistan Cricket Board on Saturday decided to restore all regional and district cricket associations and departments/service organisations in line with the PCB Constitution 2014.

With the move, the services of around 200 groundsmen, curators and several other related members of the country’s cricketing workforce will also be restored.

These associations and departments had been declared defunct with the implementation of PCB’s new constitution on Aug 19, 2019, by the Ehsan Mani-led administration and the decision was retained by his successor Ramiz Raja.

However, during the past three years, the regimes of Mani and Ramiz could not even implement the domestic structure according to the 2019 constitution as organisers at the grassroots looked strangers in the entire PCB’s setup.

The decision to restore the previous structure was taken during a PCB Management Committee meeting which was held in Lahore at the National High Performance Centre on Saturday.

“All the district, regional and departments cricket with their office-bearers [who were functioning before the implementation of the constitution in 2019] have been restored and the PCB is inviting them to come and give their suggestion for the betterment of cricket at the grassroots level,” chairman of the Management Committee Najam Sethi said during a press conference after the meeting.

“I have also met some heads of the departments and they told me that though some cricketers are not available after the decision of abolishing departmental cricket, still [the] set-up exists and after a meeting they can restore teams,” he added.

Later, the PCB also issued a press release on the MC meeting.

“The PCB Management Committee held an extensive discussion on the restoration of the Regional and District Cricket Associations and Departments/Service Organisations in line with the PCB Constitution 2014,” said the release.

“Following detailed discussions, it was announced Regional and District Cricket Associations and Departments/Service Organisations stand restored and a strategic plan will now be prepared to include them formally in domestic cricket, including participation in the PCB Board of Governors in due course.”

The PCB chairman on the occasion declared he had good news for 193 contracted players, who had a contract till August next year for representing six provincial teams on Pakistan’s domestic circuit, would continue to get their monthly salaries and would no longer suffer following the restoration of regional and departmental cricket.

Sethi further said the Management Committee had also decided to reduce the salaries of highly-paid PCB officials, terming their packages were way too much.

According to Sethi, there would be no further edition of the T20 Pakistan Junior League (PJL), a brainchild of Ramiz, whose first edition was held in October in Lahore last year. The event featured six teams comprising U-19 players from across Pakistan as well as abroad.

However, a junior contest would be introduced to replace PJL.

“The PCB Management Committee agreed to discontinue the PJL. However, to ensure there is a pathway for high-performing teenagers and the country continues to produce talented cricketers across all age gaps, it was agreed to revive junior series on a home-and-away basis. It was also agreed to hold discussions with the HBL Pakistan Super League franchises to include a U-19 player under their Emerging Categories in the playing line-ups,” the press release issued after the meeting said about the PJL.

However, the PCB would carry on the idea of Ramiz to hold the Pakistan Women’s League, Sethi added.

It may be mentioned here that Ramiz launched the PJL without getting attractive sponsors. The PCB suffered a huge loss of $4,431,095 (Rs1 billion) as a result of holding the inaugural edition.

Sethi refused to comment on Ramiz’s criticism of the MC, saying “I don’t want to be involved in such activities.”

When asked Ramiz had also alleged sports journalists had their own vested agenda and if the PCB would hold an inquiry to find out which journalists blackmailed the PCB, Sethi said he had no knowledge about such journalists.

To a question, Sethi said he would look into the case of former Test fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz who had not been getting his pension for the last five years.

Sethi revealed that the Management Committee had approved the formation of 12 cricket-related committees — the compositions of these committees to be announced in due course. “These committees will complete their suggestions within two months,” he stated.

The story was filed by the News Desk. The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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