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September 18, 2020

Request for revival of departmental cricket: Misbah, Azhar may get show-cause notice for meeting PM

Sports

September 18, 2020

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is likely to issue show-cause notices to head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq and Test skipper Azhar Ali for talking about departmental cricket during their meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan the other day.

Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah, and Azhar accompanied PCB chairman Ehsan Mani and CEO Waseem Khan met PM Khan on Wednesday.

The cricketers insisted that the cricketer-turned-politician reconsider the decision to abolish departmental cricket for the sake of players and officials who lost their jobs.

Sources said that this did not go down well with the Board and it decided to issue show-cause notices to Azhar, a centrally contracted player, and Misbah, a contracted coach. Hafeez is unlikely to face any issue because he is not a contracted player, said the sources.

It must be noted here that PM Khan rejected their demand. “I tried to explain to Misbah, Hafeez, and Azhar that the best players emerge when there is competitiveness. Australia is the most successful team in the world cricket and produces the best cricketers just because of the system,” PM Khan said during a ceremony in which the PCB signed the broadcast agreement for matches to be played in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, there are unconfirmed reports that Azhar is going to be removed from captaincy. The right-handed batsman had replaced wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed in 2019. He came under fire for his leadership skills during the three-match Test series in England recently.

Since he took the reins in the longest format, Pakistan have played eight matches and won only two, losing three and drawing three.