ISLAMABAD - National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) expressed utter disappointment over the absence of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan in the meeting held here at cabinet division under the chair of chairman Abdul Kahar Khan.

The committee rejected the PCB briefing as the cricket board officials failed to give satisfactory reply regarding their foreign tours with families. The committee made it clear to PCB COO Subhan Ahmed that the board had to reply each and every thing, which the committee had inquired about. “Don’t take Parliament lightly and don’t even think about disrespecting the parliamentarians,” committee chairman asserted.

The committee also sought details about qualification degrees of PCB Director Marketing and other employees. Abdul Kahar said Shaharyar Khan should have attended the meeting and his absence was a question mark whether the PCB took Standing Committee lightly. “If the PCB officials continue defying the committee orders, we will be left with no other option but to adopt strict measures. We are not here for joy-ride and we will not tolerate time-gaining tactics.”

Committee member Rana M Afzal asked on what grounds, the PCB officials took their families to England and who was bearing their expenditures. COO Subhan Ahmed informed the committee that Shaharyar Khan and others went to England to attend important meetings and the PCB had unlimited powers, which allowed its chairman to spend as much as he wanted.

Upon this, Rana Afzal said: “The international cricket is not being played here for the last seven years, so what is the purpose of lobbying abroad and for what? If the PCB is unable to lure international teams and players to play in Pakistan, it is only wastage of money and they have no right to waste the money earned by players with lot of dedication and hard work.”

He further said that the committee had to take decision on curtailing the PCB unlimited powers regarding tours and wasting national exchequer. “We want cricket board to be financially very sound and instead of spending money on the PCB officials and their families, the money should be spent on the players and infrastructure.”

Committee member Iqbal Ahmed Khan raised the issue that what criterion the PCB had adopted in hiring the Director Marketing and International Cricket. “The PCB has been destroying the domestic cricket structure by changing the format every year. The PCB has completely ignored the regions like Abbottabad, Sialkot, Multan and Faisalabad in the ongoing National T20 event in Rawalpindi and Multan. The PCB ignored set criteria and hired director marketing and other officials by setting aside all rules and regulations. Who is responsible for the debacle?”

He added that the PCB must take advantage from the services of legends like Wasim Akram, Amir Sohail, Abdul Qadir and others. He asserted that why such greats were not onboard. Subhan informed the committee that two officials had yet to submit their degrees. Director marketing had taken the plea that her degrees are lost, upon which the PCB had given her six month time to deposit her degrees.

He also informed that the teams participating in the domestic cricket were eligible to take part in national T20. “We have to look commercial aspects as well. We have been facing a lot of problems while selecting the players at divisional level.”

The committee also raised eyebrows over spending a huge amount of money on PTV Sports on English programmes and wanted to know why a hefty amount of $50,000 to 60,000 and incentives were being offered to foreign guests. Why such hefty amount was being wasted, who gave them authority?

Giving briefing, Ali Zia informed the committee that the regional academies were working in 16 regions out of 98 cities. “Almost 2800 clubs are registered in which 45,000 kids are getting training. We are spending 70 percent of total budget on cricket development, while Fata, AJK and Dera Murad Jamali will be included in the programme in the next phase. We also support financially to the registered clubs so that they may organise the tournaments and unearth fresh talent.”

IPC Minster Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada has said that cricket is a game of English-speaking countries. “The PCB falls under his ministry, so he has to defend the board.” He accepted that the standing committee had unlimited powers. “If the PCB faild to satisfy them, they can use their powers accordingly.”