ISLAMABAD          -          Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Governing Board member Numan Butt has dubbed 2019 as worst year for Pakistan cricket and especially for the players.

Talking to The Nation, Numan, who is also President of Sialkot Regional Cricket Association, said: “I am highly surprised to read the statement of PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani, where he described 2019 as one of the best years for Pakistan cricket. In fact, Pakistan cricket team’s performance went from bad to worst in all the three formats. Only in T20 format, it is showing encouraging signs and is number one in ICC T20 rankings, but it also lost T20 matches badly.

“To further expose the PCB chief’s claims, a highly below-par Sri Lankan team inflicted 3-0 whitewash on Pakistan team at their home soil. The World Cup 2019 was also not a memorable one for the national team as they lost badly to the West Indies and they could not improve their run-rate, which cost them very dearly during the last crucial stage,” he added.

Numan said that Australia and New Zealand bashed the national team badly and also exposed Misbah’s three roles, who doesn’t deserve such high-profile posts. “The way 2019 first class cricket was played, it was total failure form PCB’s part as only bowlers dominated while Islamabad and Pindi Stadium venues were badly ignored for first class matches, which were previously hub of almost 60 percent of Pakistan cricket, and it clearly indicates the worst type of nepotism.

“The batsmen totally dominated the 2019 first class season, while bowlers badly struggled on slow tracks. It will hurt Pakistan cricket in the years to come. The departmental cricket closure made thousands of cricketers jobless. The cricket standard also comes down on rapid basis and if things go on in the same way, Pakistan team will be struggling against even low-ranked teams,” he added.

He said he is also the victim of the PCB liking and disliking. “I have just raised obsessed voice and stood for justice, which is not a crime. In fact, If PCB chief Ehsan Mani and CEO Wasim Khan take my advice seriously, I am indeed helping them as well as Pakistan cricket and cricketers. I have worked really hard to take Sialkot region cricket to new heights and I want to see Pakistan cricket flourish.

“But the PCB high-ups look highly confused as they don’t have any plan. The entire club cricket comes to stand still as regions are not operational. The PCB has imposed ban on holding club tournaments throughout the country, so the question here arises that where the young talent will go now and where they can fulfill their dreams of playing cricket and emerging as national stars. The PCB must not deprive the youngsters of their due rights.”

He said the PCB has brought curators from abroad without any need. “Our own grounds men are better than foreign curators. The step is only meant to oblige yes men. The local top curators are jobless and are being sent home while in the name of foreign top curators, huge amount of national kitty is being wasted.

The foreigners were adjusted in the PCB by introducing its undemocratic constitution. I am sure PM Imran Khan will take into account my genuine concerns and take strict action in the best interest of cricket and players,” Numan concluded.