KARACHI: PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan and Executive Committee chairman Najam Sethi on Thursday inaugurated Karachi’s first-ever PCB-owned cricket academy in the vicinity of the National Stadium of Karachi.
Named the Hanif Mohammad High Performance Sports Centre as a tribute to the deceased legend, the academy in Shaharyar’s own words is a ‘state of the art’ facility, which he claimed is even better than Lahore’s National Cricket Academy.
“Today is a big day as it was my lifelong dream to have an academy in the country’s biggest cricketing city. The accommodation room, gym and swimming and media centre here are befitting of Karachi’s size and stature,” said the PCB supremo.
“Like Lahore and Multan’s, this academy can also accommodate foreign players, which is important as we expect international cricket to return to Pakistan in 2017.”
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Shaharyar continued: “This is just the beginning as we plan on setting up similar high performance centres in other major cities such as Bahawalpur, Peshawar and Rawalpindi next year.
He further revealed that plans to launch mobile academies — a brainchild of NCA director Mudassar Nazar — is also in the works, with Nankana Sahib likely to be its first beneficiary.
Sethi’s talk, meanwhile, revolved mostly around the Pakistan Super League (PSL), saying that the infant league should be safeguarded from controversies as it is a national asset.
He disclosed that the plans to hold the 2017 PSL final in Lahore hasn’t been shelved and that interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has promised that Pakistan Rangers will be deployed during the final to ensure security.
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Sethi also debunked the circulating theory that the PSL will in the future be turned into a separate entity, reiterating that the league will continue to be owned by the PCB.
Both senior officials played down the recent NAB inquiry on the board, with Shaharyar suggesting that since ‘the board generates its own income and doesn’t depend on government’s funds,’ the inquiry doesn’t have any basis and won’t hold water.
Sethi had a more sinister take as he blamed the entire NAB episode on a former PCB employee who was sacked over corruption and is now trying to settle scores through ‘hatched conspiracies’.
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“We have informed NAB about it, and now the matter is settled,” concluded Sethi. “There is no need to make a mountain of it.”
courtesy : express tribune