ISLAMABAD   -   Pakistan Cricket Board’s Managing Director Waseem Khan has promised to take up the Islamabad cricket grounds illegal occupation by MCI/CDA issue with Prime Minister Imran Khan and assured his all out help in resolving the issue.

Talking to The Nation on Friday, Waseem said: “I am here to improve Pakistan cricket and domestic cricket is my top most priority. I am highly satisfied with the fantastic arrangements, the best pitch, and the excellent view at Diamond cricket ground. I had visited Diamond twice and I will soon visit other cricket grounds of the federal capital. Cricket can’t flourish without quality cricket grounds and I know Islamabad is the hub of cricket in Pakistan and cricket events being held in Islamabad around the year, which is very good for youngsters.”

He said women cricket would be given top most priority and head coach Mark Coles and his team are doing very good job.

“Pakistan women cricket is on the rise and let me assure all the up and coming women players, that PCB will invest heavily in them and make sure they get the best facilities, international matches and I can’t see any reason why Pakistani women can’t win a world cup or major ICC event in next 5 to 10 years time.”

“We had a very positive meeting with PM regarding domestic cricket. It is unfortunate that HBL has closed down their cricket team, which is their personal decision but we will ensure cricketers will get money through playing cricket and won’t let them suffer. The PM’s vision is that six provincial teams play domestic cricket and we are working on that lines.”

When asked about first class season is approaching fast when they would be able to finalise the new domestic structure, Waseem replied the domestic season starts in October and he was sure by that time, they will be able to finalise things .

When asked about selectors dropped Umar Akmal and Wahab Riaz from the initial World Cup list sighting fitness issues, Waseem said the chief selector and Micky Arhtur both had made it clear that players had to follow fitness rules. But there is still time left, as Pakistan cricket team has to play around 11 matches before the World Cup starts.”

When asked about PM wants Australian model in domestic cricket where clubs are the nursery of providing youngsters, while in Pakistan clubs cricket doesn’t exist, Waseem said: “I am not sitting in the office as I am visiting different cities like Faisalabad, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Karachi and I know the flaws and I have the solution as well. I won’t sit back in the office and enjoy, I will work in the field and once again let me assure all, I have accepted this role as a challenge and I will utilise all my energies to improve Pakistan cricket from grassroots level to clubs. Pakistan is blessed with immense amount of natural raw talent the only need is to provide that talent a platform where they could nourish their skills and represent country.”

“I have focused on different ideas, different areas and will meet with former greats and all those, who in any capacity can help Pakistan cricket and we are here to deliver and my basic mission is to take Pakistan cricket to next levels and it is by no means day-dreaming or impossible task. My office doors are open for all. Anybody who wants to meet me should feel free and discuss with me. I will take up all the issues with PM as he has put all his weight behind the PCB.

The regions must run the cricket grounds, like PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani had mentioned recently. I will personally visit not only Islamabad cricket grounds, but other grounds of the country as well where there are issues, as we can’t sit back and allow non-cricketers to play with the future of the country,” Waseem concluded.