Merit takes a back seat in new domestic structure

This year’s domestic season will feature six regional teams instead of departments

Merit takes a back seat in new domestic structure Photo Courtesy:

The recent appointment of coaches for the domestic teams has made a mockery of merit. Many qualified coaches have been ignored while favoured individuals have been hired.

The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB)’s position of no-tolerance for dual roles has been thrown out of the window. Players with questionable backgrounds have been appointed in key coaching positions.

According to details, this year’s domestic season will be played under the new format. The coaching staffs for the six first-class teams and six non-first class teams were appointed recently which has created a lot of controversy.

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Former cricketer Arshad Khan was appointed as the head coach for Balochistan even though he lacks any experience in the field and is a level two coach. Arshad also holds the position of junior selector.

Ijaz Ahmed Junior has been appointed as the head coach of Central Punjab even though he has a questionable past. He had to resign as the head coach of Faisalabad region after allegations of match fixing. He was later re-appointed but the teams of Azad Kashmir and Dera Murad Jamali could not improve their performances under him.

Level four qualified coach, Sajad Akbar, was appointed as the head coach and manager of the second eleven of Southern Punjab.

SNGPL’s Sameeh Ullah Niazi, has been appointed as the assistant of Ijaz Junior for Central Punjab. His qualifications are just level one. He participated in the National Cricket Academy (NCA) level two coaching course. Akram Raza was also with him in the course. The results of that course are still not out, but the duo has been assigned coaching roles with the six major provincial teams.

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The appointments of Saaed Anwar junior (Northern second eleven) and Shoaib Khan (Balochistan first eleven) without prior experience are shocking as well.

Former Test cricketer and television expert Mohammad Waseem has been appointed the head coach of the Northern area team. He is still waiting for his level three coaching course’s result.

Similarly, Rafat Ullah was appointed the head coach of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) second eleven without any prior experience.

The PCB has never officially allowed coaches to hold dual roles. However, now Misbahul Haq, Sameeh Niazi, Rafat Ullah, Mohammad Waseem and Saaed Anwar Junior will hold dual positions with external firms and the PCB.