Nearly two months after Wasim Khan stepped down as head of the PCB’s cricket committee, the board recalled Iqbal Qasim back to the set-up to take over the key position. The panel is now entirely independent from figures that hold other roles in the PCB, with one exception – Urooj Mumtaz, the PCB women’s chief selector, is still a part. The other three members on the panel are Ali Naqvi, Umar Gul and Wasim Akram. Wasim Khan and Zakir Khan will serve as co-opted members, the PCB announced.
The cricket committee has run into roadblocks right from the time it was formed in 2018. Akram’s inclusion in the committee was followed by PCB chairman Ehsan Mani turning his back on the Qayyum Report on match-fixing, which led to Akram being fined and censured, as well as removed from the Pakistan captaincy. A few of Mohsin Khan’s public statements also put the PCB in an awkward position, especially the scathing personal criticism he levelled at then head coach Mickey Arthur.
ESPNcricinfo understands that PCB had begun to re-evaluate its decision to appoint Mohsin to the committee, and reportedly forbade him from making public statements – it didn’t stop him from calling for Sarfaraz Ahmed to be relieved of the Test captaincy. During this time, Mohsin headed three meetings but failed to develop any sort of consensus on any outstanding cricketing issue.
After eight months – during which he presided over just those three meetings – Mohsin resigned from the committee for reasons he never made public, leading to Wasim Khan taking on the additional role of heading the committee.
Qasim played 50 Tests and 15 ODIs for Pakistan, and as an administrator accumulated vast experience working as a director in the National Bank of Pakistan sports department before retiring in 2015. He has also been involved with the PCB in various roles, as team manager, chief selector and member of the domestic tournament monitoring committee.
“I am pleased the PCB has considered me for this important assignment and will try to utilise all my cricket and corporate experience and knowledge in the successful delivery of my responsibilities,” he said after being given the new role. “The PCB Cricket Committee comprises members who are avid followers of the game, are on top of all matters related to the game in Pakistan and, therefore, with collective wisdom, will make recommendations that will help the PCB to improve its strategic direction.
“The game belongs to the people of Pakistan and we all are equal stakeholders in this. I think anyone who thinks can make a positive and meaningful contribution to Pakistan cricket, should come forward and play an active part.”
PCB has also increased the number of members in the committee from four to five, not including co-opted members. Gul replaced Misbah-ul-Haq – who, soon after applying for the Pakistan head coach job, resigned from the role. Naqvi is the fifth member, with the former Pakistan batsman presently a member of the PCB elite panel for match referees.
“I welcome all the distinguished members in this PCB Cricket Committee and look forward to working with them,” Wasim Khan said. “I am delighted we have been able to put together a wide-ranging, knowledgeable, experienced and respected group whose commitment and involvement in the game is second to none.
“These members are representatives of all key stakeholders within the game. More importantly, and in line with our policy, they are completely independent, which, in turn, will assist the PCB management to further improve the health of the game in Pakistan.”