Shaharyar Khan’s resignation from the post of the Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has hit the headlines in the world of cricket for last few days. While trying to find out the possible reasons for his resignation or to get any clue behind this all of a sudden announcement, CricketSoccer cannot but raise a very apt question.
Is Shaharyar’s resignation a natural course of act? Or is it a deliberate ploy to bring back Mr. Najam Shethi in the realm of Pakistan cricket?
It is quite understood that Shaharyar, who is 83 now, has some health issues. He himself stressed on this fact behind his decision. In a press meet in Lahore, Shaharyar told, ”I will not continue after it as chairman or as in any other capacity and it’s my decision on the basis of personal and health reasons.” To head a Cricket Board and to attend a number of meetings on a daily basis, to travel frequently in all the corners of the cricketing world may be a strenuous job for Shahryar in this age.
But some close sources of the PCB are indicating that Shahryar’s resignation may not be a natural course of action. Rather, it could be a ploy to bring back Najam Shethi, the former PCB Chief, in the hot seat of Pakistan Cricket. Some officials, who are closely attached with the day to day proceedings of cricket administration in Pakistan, claimed that there was a pressure on Shaharyar from the day he took over the chairmanship of PCB. They also claimed that over the last couple of months, the pressure was increased a lot.
Now, what could be the points on which Shahryar was continuously pressurized?
It is learnt that Shahryar’s failure to bring back International Cricket in Pakistan and organising the much awaited bilateral series with India could play the spoil-sport. Eight long years have passed after the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in March, 2009. Since then, no international matches have been organised in Pakistan. No cricketing countries have shown faith in the security of Pakistan.
Even Bangladesh, when approached for a bilateral series by PCB recently, has turned down the offer. In addition to that, the Bangladesh Board has also turned down the compensation demanded by the PCB after Bangladesh did not travel the country citing security issues. Earlier, West Indies cricket team also denied Pakistan’s offer to tour the country citing security issues only. However, it is to be noted that Pakistan is scheduled to tour Bangladesh in the month of July/August and with Bangladesh declining PCB’s offer, it can have a retrospective effect and Pakistan might also cancel their tour to Bangladesh.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has also shown least interest to send the Indian Cricket team to tour Pakistan, in spite of threats from PCB for a legal action. The BCCI and PCB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to play eight bilateral series in a span of of six years.
BREAKING : No Chance of #PakvInd Series.PCB will take legal action against BCCI ,Chairman PCB Shahryar Khan
— Abdul Ghaffar (@GhaffarDawnNews) March 30, 2017
But after the Mumbai terror attack in November, 2008, the BCCI has not agreed to tour to Pakistan, or to play a bilateral series in any part of the world, citing security reasons. It has caused a huge financial loss for PCB, and Shahryar has failed to convince BCCI as well as any other Cricket Boards to tour Pakistan. Though Pakistan has played several bilateral series in Dubai, but it cannot compensate the huge amount of loss of PCB.
Najam Shethi, on the other hand, is being considered as a revolutionary in Pakistan Cricket. He was the mastermind behind organising Pakistan Super League (PSL) and successfully organised PSL matches even in the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore. A majority of people attached with the cricket administration in Pakistan believed that Najam has the ability to bring back international cricket in Pakistan. It is learnt from close sources of PCB that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who also acts as the patron in chief of PCB, wants Najam to take over from Shaharyar. Some officials of PCB also claimed that Shaharyar was forced to resign from his post only to give Najam a go.
Shaharyar will continue till the International Cricket Council (ICC) annual conference in June. Najam is most likely to become the new PCB Chairman, with a huge support from the Pakistan Government.