KARACHI: Former Test players Shoaib Mohammad and Jalal Uddin have slammed the new format of the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam trophy.
“The format has been changed several times illogically,” Jalal said here on Thursday. “Years have gone by and the board has failed to come up with a good format which can be used every year. It is the time to say goodbye to personnel instead of changing the format time and time again,”he said.
Shafiq Ahmed Papa is the man who has been working for the past several years to improve the domestic structure but he has failed to come up with a concrete format.
Jalal said that the departments and regions should play separately.
“The only way to improve the quality of cricket is to stage departmental and regional tournaments individually. In addition, departmental players should be allowed to play for their regions as well because in their absence mediocre players are accommodated in regional teams.” he said. “By doing so, only the outstanding players would be able to cement their places in the regional teams and the competition for places would ultimately result in quality outcome.”
Jalal, however, emphasised on continuing with a setup for few years and then deciding its fate accordingly.
“Atleast, a span of three years should be given to a certain format in order to judge the results properly,” he said.
Pakistan Cricket Board had previously allowed relegated teams to continue in the first class circuit by stopping their demotion through different policies.
“Top departments like National Bank, Habib Bank, PIA, WAPDA, SNGPL and KRL have been relegated in past but their downgrading were prevented illegitimately by the PCB. On the other hand SSGC and Customs were instantly relegated because these sides were heavily Karachi-based,”added Jalal. “All the teams should be equally treated.”
The ongoing Quaid-e-Azam trophy has lost its charm as Pakistan team is playing in UAE and ‘A’ team will leave for Caribbean in few days.
“The level of competition can only improve when your best players are available to play,” he said. “The ongoing event is merely a formality.”
Former Test batsman Shoaib Mohammad has also blasted the PCB over the new format which he deems as inadequate.
“The standard of the players in associations is not up to the mark,” he said. “If you want to improve the quality of domestic cricket, then the best departments should play each other only. The number of departments should also be cut down at first-class level to raise the standard of the game.
“I am sure that along with me, other departments too would have their reservations.”
Shoaib, who is the Sports head of PIA, blasted the timing of the tournament.
“Our eight main players will not be available due to national duty which includes Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Asad Shafiq, Faisal Iqbal, Anwar Ali and others. We look after these players for a whole year so that they should remain in best shape to play in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy but it’s a shame that due to poor time management by the PCB, we may suffer the worst,” he lamented.
Shoaib further said that he is not impressed by the overall selection standards of regional teams.
“Inferior quality players are often selected because of political connections and influential backgrounds,” he said. “Such things can help the PR system to flourish in Pakistan but the game of cricket will never prosper.”