Let Pak cricket follow global pattern

Cricketing stalwart Sultan needs PTV Chairman’s attention

Khalid Butt

OF late, there has been a lot of criticism being raised by some cricket icons like Imran, Amer Sohail and others for PCB being run by non-cricketing personalities. The latest personality to join the protest is none other than Wasim Akram, who too has raised his voice on PCB, being run by non-cricketing people. I would like to add that current phenomenon of PCB, owes its sorry state of affairs to none other than late Hafeez Kardar.
In his hasty ambition to oust the first Pakistan Cricket Captain, Mian Muhammad Saeed, he had maneuvered to bring in the then State Authority through late Syed Fida Hasan, and rest is history. Nowhere else, India, England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa included, the State intervenes or appoints Chief of Cricket Board except in Pakistan. The current PCB, Chairman of PCB and Chairman Executive Board, are both honorable people. But both lack any cricketing relevance or connection. It is highly doubtful if PCB, was not in such a financial healthy state either of two gentlemen, would dare touch it.
Mr. Shaharyar, belongs to a distinguished and honorable former ruling family of Bhopal, which had rich traditions of hockey, classical music etc. The same goes for Mr. Najam Sethi, whose inclination depends on the current financial bonanza of PCB. I doubt if any of the two gentlemen, would ever dare take up looking after Hockey, Squash, Athletics, Football or any other sports which requires serious attention or enterprise to bring about their revival. Let me remind that two former Heads of PCB/PHF/PSF and PFF, namely Air Marshal Nur Khan and Air Marshal Asghar Khan, have left a worthy and honorable tradition in this regard. Both did not seek any perks or financial benefits or sought official financing but used their own initiatives to seek financial viability.
So, let us offer these two worthy gentlemen to take up the cause of Hockey, Squash, Athletics, Football etc to show their mettle and leave cricket to someone who really understands its true intricacies and affairs of the board be handed over to an elected body of Provincial and other bodies, like in all other countries. It is time the curse of an old selfish step taken in distant past, during Iskander Mirza era, is done away once for all.
I have followed cricket from the time of being a tiny toddler, as belonging to a cricketing, sporting family. The interest came natural as my maternal gratefather was renowned cricket and tennis player of his time.
He was one of the pioneers of promoting sports in NWR, which was the original name of Pakistan Railways in pre-partition days
H.A. Mullick, rubbed shoulders with such worthies like Wazir Ali and Nazir Ali, and Mr. Abdur Rahim, who was the original founder of a rich tennis dynasty in this country.
One of my uncles, Ajmal Malik, captained both Islamia College and Govt. College, Lahore, which in good old days traditionally provided majority of players to national cricket team. Ajmal, now settled in England is currently in Lahore, after a lapse of many years. He asked me about an old team mate and one of the most remarkable players of his era, namely Sultan Mehmud.
Sultan, had served PTV, in a senior slot for about two decades, and I asked local PTV for his contact. I got a strange response. Who is Sultan? That is what the News Section, where he was once head replied. It was Najam Lateef of Lahore Gymkhana, who solved my problem and gave me his contact number.
Sultan, too for few years had been in UK, and I discovered he is in poor health and recovering from an accident: What is more appalling, PTV, Lahore, has not paid or cleared his medical expenses, submitted in August, 1916.
Let me inform the readers about credentials of Sultan Mehmud. He had captained both Govt College and Islamia College, Lahore, teams as well as the Punjab University team. Along with Shuja, Shakoor, Ajmal, he was part of the Combined Universities team, which played against MCC “A” team in Lahore, way back in 1951.
He was the 12th man of Pakistan Team against MCC in Lahore “Test” match. He was also part of Pak Eaglets team sent to England under captaincy of Mian Muhammad Saeed & was also part of team against first Ceylon Cricket team to tour Pakistan.
He was one of the most talked about club players of his time and his innings of 94, in the Punjab University Cricket Final at University Ground, for Islamia College VS Govt. College was perhaps one of his best, which remains fresh in my mind even today.
So, I hope my friend Ata-ul-Haq Qasmi, the current Chairman / MD of PTV, will kindly ensure that the pending medical dues of Sultan Mehmud at Lahore PTV, staff are settled promptly without any delay.
Let us show some respect and recognition to players like Sultan, who once used to rub shoulders with players like Imtiaz, Hanif, Waqar and others as there was such abundance of talent in Pakistan Cricket then.

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