Is PCB plotting against its own players?

The comments regarding Salman Butt exposed a dark side of the national cricket administration

Is PCB plotting against its own players? PHOTO: AFP/PCB

The latest revelations by the Central Punjab coach Ijaz Ahmed Junior have opened up a wealth of questions regarding the operations of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). In a press conference at the National Stadium in Karachi on Monday, Ahmed hinted that there were secret instructions from the PCB due to which opener Salman Butt was not being considered to play for the national side.

Rampant corruption and nepotism have brought them to a stage where the need for transparency trumps all other initiatives.

Butt, along with fast-bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, were banned in 2011 for five years. He completed his ban on September 2, 2015 and was cleared to play cricket both domestically and internationally by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The PCB has not talked about any hurdles to his eventual comeback into the side. To find out that secret blanket bans exist, raises many questions.

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Whether you agree that banned players should be allowed back into the side or not is a different matter entirely. All players should be treated equally and the precedence of bringing back tainted players has already been set by bringing back Mohammad Amir.

How many more players have been kept out of the team because of secret instructions such as the one sent about Butt? Are Fawad Alam, Tabish Khan and others of their hard-working ilk also the target of these secret blanket bans?

In a democratic country, working under the ideals of accountability, the PCB cannot have these secret instructions in place that dictate the lives of professional cricketers in the country.

The PCB should come out and openly address this charge of secret instructions and clarify the exact number of other players that have been targeted by the PCB and their reasons.

The board and cricket in the country should not be functioning on the whims of those in charge. The PCB, like every other institution, should be based on merit and function in a transparent way and be held accountable for its actions.