‘Imran Khan wasn’t behind closure of departmental cricket’

Mani claims system was corrupted
May 12, 2022
Photo: File
Photo: File

For months, majority in Pakistan cricket fraternity have been discussing the closure of ‘department cricket’ under former prime minister and captain Imran Khan’s tenure.

Everyone believed that the move was made on instructions of Imran Khan. However, former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani has finally let the cat out of the bag.

According to him, it was his idea to shut the department cricket from the very beginning.

“It was my idea to shut departmental cricket,” Mani made the revelation during an interview with Cricket Pakistan. “The only contrasting opinion was that Imran [Khan] wanted six teams whereas my suggestion was to start with eight teams instead.”

Moreover, the former International Cricket Council (ICC) president backed his decision by terming the previous setup as ‘corrupt’. “If departmental cricket method was a functional then other countries would have also adopted it,” he said.

“Banks were pulling out before my arrival; even before the new system was introduced. Only one local bank pulled out after I took over.

“Rest of the departments only used to prefer cricketers that were trained by PCB. Majority of the players were only paid for the season and were not employed throughout the year – with some exceptions of star players,” Mani said.

“The system [departmental cricket] was so corrupted; that we had two divisions and players from first division were representing departments in the second division,” he said. “I remember Faisalabad qualified for first division and it was later revealed that 9 out of 12 players in that team were already representing departments in the first division. There couldn’t have been a more flawed system in place,” Ehsan added.

Imran Khan

Cricket

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