Nawaz Sharif has perfected the art of cronyism, trying to 'fix' Pakistan cricket, says former captain Imran Khan
Pakistan's former captain and top opposition leader Imran Khan has strongly criticised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and a top official of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for damaging the sport in the country.
Karachi: Pakistan's former captain and top opposition leader Imran Khan has strongly criticised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and a top official of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for damaging the sport in the country.
In a series of tweets, Imran who led Pakistan to their only World Cup title in 1992 accused Sharif of appointing an "election fixer" to "fix" Pakistani cricket.
Although, Khan didn't take any name but the reference was seen as hinting at Najam Sethi, a former PCB chairman who now heads the board's executive committee.
"The reason cricket has, unlike elsewhere, failed to become an institution in Pak is because here PM appoints PCB Chief," Khan tweeted.
"Correct analysis of current cricket crisis can lead to reforms & take Pak to top of world cricket. Incorrect analysis will compound failure," he said in another tweet.
Sethi served as a caretaker Chief Minister in Punjab province when the general elections were held and when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came into power.
Khan has in the past accused Sethi of fixing the election.
He said Sharif has "perfected the art of cronyism" and had appointed an "election fixer" to "fix" Pakistani cricket.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader also blamed "political pressure" and "cronyism" for the international team's "consistent poor performances."
Khan's solution to Pakistan's woes is to "insulate" cricket from "political pressure."
He also maintained that domestic cricket structure needed to be overhauled so that it can produce players with the right "temperament" and "technique."
Imran called for increasing the number of cricket grounds and said the PCB should stop unnecessary expenditures.
He proposed a domestic cricket circuit on the lines of Australia, where all talent is "concentrated in six regional teams" and all departments instead of fielding their own teams should support the regional teams.
PSL 2021: PCB says UAE 'preferred venue' to complete tournament amid spike in COVID-19 cases in Pakistan
A recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Pakistan had forced the six PSL teams to write to the PCB last week to shift the rescheduled games from Karachi to the UAE.
The 40-year-old was dropped from the list of centrally contracted players last year in May along with Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Amir but after he performed well the PCB was forced to offer him a short-term contract earlier this year.
The PCB had to postpone PSL-6 abruptly on 4 March with just 10 out of 34 matches completed due to COVID-19 cases among players and officials.