PCB conditions inclusion in national squad to domestic cricket participation

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LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday decided to make participation in domestic cricket mandatory for selection in the national squad, days after the Green Shirts’ dismal performance at the T20 World Cup led to their early disqualification.

This was decided in an hours-long meeting about improving domestic cricket’s quality, presided over by PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi, at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore, Geo News reported.

The forum decided to review the domestic contracts and devised a strategy in this regard.

The development has come after former cricketers censured Pakistan team for their early elimination from the T20 World Cup 2024 because of their below par performance. Some even suggested sending players to the domestic circuit to fortify their basic techniques.

Pakistan were defeated by debutants US by five runs in a Super Over tie and against India by six runs. They managed to win against Canada on June 11 by seven wickets.

With the match between the US and Ireland abandoned due to rain on June 14, the co-hosts secured one point, consequently ending Pakistan’s hopes of proceeding in the tournament.

The national team’s last league game against Ireland was only a formality, after which the squad returned home.

Naqvi said quality domestic cricket would be promoted at every level and for this purpose, tournaments would be organised from the club to the national level with continuity.

“One of the best coaches will be hired for professional-style grooming of players, which will abridge the gap between national and international stage,” he said.

A master coach would be appointed for training of domestic cricket coaches, he said vowing to invest on fresh talent to promote cricket at lower level.

The PCB chief said players would be selected on the basis of their performance and fitness only. No compromise would be made on merit, he maintained.

The meeting reviewed domestic cricket structure of India, Australia, England and New Zealand as well.