Sarfraz urges PM to restore departmental cricket



Former Pakistan Test pacer Sarfraz Nawaz has urged Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to restore departmental cricket in the country, underlining it helped a lot in grooming talented players for decades.

In a letter sent to the prime minister, Sarfraz said during the regime of ex-prime minister Imran Khan departmental cricket was abolished leaving hundreds of cricketers across Pakistan jobless.

“Women cricketers also suffered a lot due to the abolition of departments during the tenure of the previous government; now according to a rough estimate the number of women cricketers in the country has been reduced to 45 from 200, who were available three years ago,” added the 73-old Sarfraz.

Insisting that Pakistan’s present domestic cricket system which is operating without departments presented a gloomy picture, Sarfraz said immediate action was required to put things on the right track.

“I, like many other Pakistan cricketers, benefited from departmental cricket which saved our future, and I want upcoming players [of present generation] to also get the same advantage,” the right-armer added.

Currently, Sarfraz continued, only 192 players of six provincial cricket associations were receiving the central contract whereas in the departmental system the number of well paid cricketers was around 400.

“Sixteen regional cricket associations were playing their part in the domestic cricket according to the PCB constitution of 2014. However, now only six provincial association teams are operating.”

Sarfraz said he had requested the PM to revive without delay the previous domestic structure which would expand the system enabling maximum number of cricketers to take benefit from it.

“Records proved that players belonging to dif-ferent departments played a very positive role in promoting cricket and cricketers, without putting any [financial] burden on PCB resources,” Sarfraz emphasised. “In fact, departmental cricket shared the PCB’s burden of responsibilities.”—APP