For an abridged version you can read
PCB Chairman Jumps Ship On Younis Khan
When Younus Khan refused to acknowledge or thank the PCB in the presentation ceremony despite being prompted by Ramiz Raja, it must have sent chills down the spine of everyone at the Gaddafi Stadium. That it sent one down the chairman’s was confirmed when he came out with the statement that he was all in favour of Younus being selected for the world cup.
Shaharyar Khan also confirmed what I have said countless times in my columns and TV appearances over the years. That he is de facto chairman of selectors and that the chairman of selectors is basically his subordinate. It’s been that way for years so it’s not just Shaharyar Khan who is playing this role. He’s simply inherited it.
Why do I assign this position to the chairman? Well until he approves—note, approves—the side it doesn’t get announced and can’t travel. Period. It takes the chairman’s signature for the ball to start rolling on the paper. PCB officials and their media men have always denied this intervention and will continue to do so. They will say it is an administrative function for the funds to be released, or that the PCB Chairman just checks that no banned or suspended player has been included going by past explanations offered.
Ridiculous reasons all. There can at any time be no more than a few players from the domestic circuit that are not cleared for one reason or another; the list can be given to the selectors by the disciplinary committee or the sports medicine head in case of injury suspicion. And the budget doesn’t change if it is say, Younis Khan going with the team or not.
As such the fact remains that the chairman has the last say; some have more interference, some less. From what I saw in Shaharyar Khan’s last tenure, he is the less intrusive compared to say what Tauqeer Zia was said to be. When it came to non selection of Younis Khan for the ODIs against Australia, Shaharyar Khan said he would not interfere. At the time it was taken as a ‘No’ by those who knew that Younis Khan had had a verbal fallout with the chairman in 2006 over captaincy after which Shaharyar Khan had resigned. And as such he would not support him now. But that was up to conjecture, as was the news that Moin Khan has rushed to Lahore to get Shaharyar Khan’s consent over the team to be announced for the limited over games.
It had weight though. The team was slated to be announced in Karachi at 5pm before the semi finals but at 4.30 the cameras had to be disassembled. Moin Khan subsequently flew to Lahore and a day later the team was announced from there with Shahrayar Khan backing the selection.
But by publicly stating that he would like to see Younis Khan in the world cup squad Shaharyar Khan has officially interfered in the selection process. He can imply what he wants by adding that the final say is up to the selectors. Simply giving his comment when he is officially the chairman is clearly interference, or at least influence, which in Pakistan means as good as interfering.
He has let the cat out of the bag by saying: “When the ODI team was announced, the selectors and other stakeholders had agreed upon Younis’ omission.” Note the words ‘selectors and other stakeholders’. Would Shaharyar Khan please elaborate who the stakeholders are who have a say in the selection?
The erstwhile diplomat is saying it is his personal opinion. That is as ridiculous as when he reportedly said on an Indian media that Dawood Ibrahim was no more in Pakistan and that he had been chased out. He retracted when put under pressure by saying: “I have never, even when I was in the foreign ministry or now known where Dawood Ibrahim lives. I am only reflecting what the Pakistani press has been saying about the gentleman.”
Yes of course he was quoting the press!! Imagine the diplomatic faux pas of a seasoned man. I thought that he must have been misquoted. But honestly, how can he be chairman of PCB, give a statement and then say it is his personal opinion! Doesn’t he know that when you are holding a public office (and PCB is under PM patronage) there is no such thing as ‘personal opinion’ when you are discussing your own institution. And if there is it is never cited in public.
I believe that he has been psyched out by what Younis said—or rather did not say—at the presentation ceremony of the first Test. He realizes that he has lost the popularity vote. And while someone who is more mentally strong (say Majid Khan who refused to accept Wasim Akram’s inclusion when at his peak because of his belief that something was not right) would have stood his ground, Shaharyar Khan has blinked first and rushed to absolve himself of all opposition to Younis Khan’s inclusion for the world cup after seeing the reaction in media and general public.
By doing that he has dumped Moin Khan and is making him the scapegoat. Now Moin (and to some extent Waqar Younis) will be made responsible for Younis Khan’s omission and outburst at the National Stadium and for subsequent omission of PCB from the vote of thanks Younis gave in Dubai. That is a shameful thing to do. He may have inherited Moin as chief selector and manager but as long as Moin is his subordinate he should not leave him in the lurch. He should learn from the ECB Chairman and Chief Executive who stood by the selectors despite the continuous flare-ups from Kevin Pieterson.
He has also shown that he has little understanding of cricket. That a Test match temperament and ability is different from One Day temperament and ability. He has shown that he has knee jerk reaction to situations. I mean how can he give his opinion on a technical issue when he has had little to do with cricket and is there purely as an administrator and that too because he caught the PM’s eye for being nominated (not elected) on the board, which like the good boys they are elected him to the top post because as it seems now, Najam Sethi was to go to ICC as President.
All in bad taste. Shaharyar Khan would have won more respect had he chosen simply to remain calm and quiet and said that his opinion on selection is not to be shared in public due to the position he is holding. A seasoned diplomat should know the right thing to say.