PCB determined to promote women cricket: Basit Ali

Former Test cricketer Basit Ali has said that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is making extraordinary efforts for the overall development of women cricket in the country. Talking to the reporters here at the Bagh-e-Jinnah during the match between HEC and ZTBL, Basit said: “The present regime of the PCB led by Chaudhry Zaka Asrhaf has done a lot to set new bench marks as far promotion of women cricket is concerned.”He said women cricket had gained rapid success in recent years and significant improvement had been seen in the performance of Pakistan women cricket team at international level.

“The steps being taken by Zaka Ashraf for the further uplift of women cricket will produce long term results as players are being groomed with the help of experienced coaches and a comprehensive activity plan is there to polish the skills of the players,” he said. “I don’t say that in a year time or so, we will be able to make a strong women side like champions Australia but I am very confident that in years to come, Pakistan team will emerge as a force to reckon with at international level,” he added. To a query, he termed the recent outburst of former PCB chairman Ijaz Butt ‘anti-cricket’ which was damaging the cause of cricket in Pakistan.

“During Ijaz Butt's regime, Pakistan suffered a lot across the globe due to spot-fixing scandal and still its sour memories are following our cricket and it was the most unfortunate incident of our cricket,” the ex-cricketer added. Replying to query, he said there was no truth in the recent statement of Ijaz Butt that national captains Misbahul Haq and M Hafeez had developed differences between them. “I think there are some quarters who are trying to promote their vested interest with such baseless statements and to cause confusion.” “It is happening at a time when we have yet to start our preparations for Champions Trophy,” he added. Basit said he still believed that there should be separate captains for each format of the game. “Three years ago, I suggested that there should be separate teams and captains for Test, one-day and Twenty20 because these formats require such specialised players who can duly justify in their respective roles,” he concluded.