PCB instructs players to remain ‘vigilant’ in England

Squad members have been asked to stay disciplined and limit use of social media

PCB instructs players to remain ‘vigilant’ in England PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has strictly instructed its players to remain vigilant, during their prolonged stay in England and Wales, ahead of the upcoming England series and 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.

According to Daily Express, the PCB is keen on ensuring that players are not embroiled in any controversy, bearing in mind prior precedents of spot-fixing, ball-tampering and various other unpleasant incidents.  

The players have been told to avoid meeting and exchanging gifts with strangers and take permission from Team Manager, Talat Ali, before leaving the hotel, while also informing the security officer Major (retd.) Azhar. Squad has also been advised to travel in groups rather than on an individual basis.

The English media tends to be on the lookout for negative stories relating to Pakistan cricket, so it is only fair for players to stay cautious and avoid unnecessary activity.

During their last tour of England, in 2018, Pakistan had to give up wearing 'smart watches' after being told to ditch them by the ICC as an anti-corruption measure during the opening day's play of the first Test against England at Lord's. Although there was no suggestion of impropriety, that Pakistan's Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam were seen wearing what appeared to be 'smart watches', but it concerned the ICC.

The squad has also been asked to limit use of social media and their activity there should only reflect praise for fellow team members.

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani has also stressed on the importance of discipline by instructing team management to make no compromise in this regard. The incident involving Pakistan’s middle-order batsman Umar Akmal, during the ODI series against Australia in UAE recently, had a major bearing on this decision. Akmal was fined 20 per cent of his match fee and also received an official reprimand for a late night-out before fifth ODI against Australia in Dubai. 

It must be noted that Prime Minister Imran Khan also laid emphasis on staying disciplined, during his meeting with the 2019 World Cup squad members, at his Bani Gala residence, before team’s departure for England.