I enjoy the distinction of having been associated with Pakistan cricket since partition. Being a sports writer as well, I have closely watched its ups and downs but could never imagine such a shocking degeneration in the team’s performance that would cause unbearable distress and disappointment to the cricket lovers in Pakistan. Recalling the era immediately after partition our team had super stars like Fazal Mahmud, Imtiaz Ahmed, Hanif Muhammad, Khan Muhammad, Waqar Hasan and others who brought Pakistan’s cricket on the world map. As the people’s interest in the game grew our cricket took fast strides towards progress.

Pakistan cricket hit its peak in the mid 70’s when Pakistan defeated Australia on its own soil with Imran Khan emerging as a great fast bowler. Imran’s entry into the team gave our cricket a magical dimension. Something strange that we find in our players is that besides lacking confidence they are not mentally fit for the goal they are meant to achieve. They are nervous while facing defeat as well as victory.

Showing similar reaction to widely opposite situations means that the players require psychological treatment. To groom the players physically, mentally and psychologically along with other aspects of the game is the PCB’s responsibility. Rather than discharging the same the PCB officials are busy in their lucrative careers, huge salaries, perks and privileges rather than building the team. It may be noted that the cricket board officials of the old era worked in honorary capacity as compared to the incompetent but highly paid present lot.

RAFI NASIM,

Lahore, November 20.