Sports

Meet the long-serving former cricketers

Written by Omair Alavi

Omair Alavi|Sports|December 22, 2019

A look at ex-cricketers who have been part of the PCB for a long time and haven’t done much except occupy a position and deny competent youngsters a chance to serve

Intikhab Alam

In recent years, cricket has emerged as the most followed, most loved and most popular sport in the country, relegating hockey, tennis, football, and others to the second position and so forth. Superstars of the game, those who have won matches for Pakistan, should be credited for this resurgence but sadly, they don’t get the kind of appreciation they deserve. Not many are able to get the farewell they command, and if you look at the game’s history, many of them (Hanif Mohammad, Javed Miandad, Mohammad Yousuf) retired because they weren’t in the PCB’s good books anymore. The people behind such forceful decisions are former cricketers themselves who became administrators for life after retirement to prolong their playing days, and obviously delay their retirements.

Let’s take a look at some of these ex-cricketers who have been part of the Pakistan Cricket Board for a long time and haven’t done much except occupy a position and deny competent youngsters a chance to serve their country after their playing days are over.

INTIKHAB ALAM

Age: 78 years

Playing Career: 20 years

Non-Playing Career: More than 30 years

For someone who made his Test debut in 1959 and played his last Test in 1977, Intikhab Alam has been quite active, especially since the 1990s. No matter who is in the board, or what the board’s name is (either BCCP or PCB) Intikhab Alam remains there, as manager, coach, selector or even as administrator. Yes, he was there when Pakistan won the World Cup in 1992 and also in 2009 but that doesn’t mean that he should be there forever. Cricket has changed everywhere except in Pakistan and maybe that’s why we are so far behind. We need more people from this millennium to take us into the future, and let go of the past, and the legends from that era.

HAROON RASHEED

Age: 66 years

Playing Career: 6 years

Non-Playing Career: Over 25 years

He may have represented Pakistan for exactly six years – from 14 January 1977 to 14 January 1983 – but his career as a part of the Cricket Board is a never-ending tale. He has been credited with the discovery of Younis Khan, and also helped many youngsters during his career as a coach, but there is a time and place for everything to start, and end. He is over 65 and needs to realise that cricket has evolved, and so should he. He has coached the side, selected it, helmed the selection committee, managed it and is currently busy as an administrator in the PCB, but that doesn’t mean that he should continue to do so forever.

SALAHUDDIN SALLU

Age: 72 years

Playing Career: 5 years

Non-Playing Career: Over 30 years

Salahuddin ‘Sallu’ Mulla was born before Pakistan was created, played last of his five Tests when there was an East Pakistan but has been more active since his retirement. He has been part of the selection team more than one can remember (was it 14 or 15 times), and will take up the position if he is offered again, despite his advancing age. He left the post on principles after a player switch in 2008 (Shoaib Khan was preferred over Saeed Ajmal), showing courage, but was sacked for backing the wrong players on a number of occasions.

ZAKIR KHAN

Age: 56 years

Playing Career: 6 years

Non-Playing Career: Over 25 years

Zakir Khan

Had he not been a close friend of Imran Khan, Zakir Khan might not have been able to sustain at the Pakistan Cricket Board for so long. For a person who played just two Tests, 17 ODIs and was more of Mohammad Akram than Imran Khan when it came to getting selected, Zakir Khan has managed to stay in the business since the 1990s. He has been part of the Pakistan Cricket Board and has served in all possible positions, except the Chairman. At 56, he is younger than the other people on this list but considering that he has been there while Pakistan has suffered more bad time than good time in international cricket, he should leave his place for youngsters who are more capable of taking the game forward in Pakistan.

LATE ENTRY: MISBAH UL HAQ

He may have been Pakistan’s most successful Test captain, a batsman who made his comeback late in his career and won matches for Pakistan, was one of the wisest captains considering the kind of players he had, Misbah ul Haq deserved to be part of the Pakistan Cricket Board. But the Misbah ul Haq we got is incompetent and brash, not the person who represented Pakistan with pride. And that’s the two ingredients that will take him a long way in Pakistan cricket which is not a place for humble administrators. If Misbah 2.0, the one who isn’t selecting Fawad Alam, dropping Mohammad Abbas and persisting with Imam ul Haq carries on like this, he might end up as the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, sooner than we think.

About the author

Omair Alavi