Wasim Khan, Leicestershire’s chief executive, has been unveiled as the new managing director of the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Wasim, who has been one of the leading lights of the ECB’s drive to engage British Asians in English cricket, forged his career as chairman of the schools’ cricket charity, Chance to Shine, before taking over at Grace Road in 2014.
He is understood to have been appointed to the PCB on a three-year contract, starting on February 1. He was sounded out for the role by Ehsan Mani, the former ICC chairman who was himself appointed as PCB chairman earlier this year by the country’s new Prime Minister, the former Pakistan allrounder Imran Khan.
“I am delighted to be offered the position of Managing Director of PCB – a role which I have accepted as a challenge,” said Wasim. “I have my roots in Pakistan, a country which is full of talent. I will be relocating to Pakistan with my family who are as excited as I am.”
Mani added: “We welcome Wasim who will be joining the PCB soon. He was selected unanimously following a robust interview process with some seriously good candidates. I must thank each and every applicant who participated in this process.
“Wasim brings with him fresh ideas and knowledge of cricket, and he will receive the support of the Board and the management of PCB.
“We have started the process of revamping the PCB and under Wasim, we now have an experienced leader of the management team who will oversee the implementation of the Board decisions. His first task would be to oversee the reforms of domestic cricket structure”.
Wasim’s departure is a blow to the ECB and, perhaps, sport in general in England and Wales. He is believed to be the only chief executive of BAME (black, Asian or minority ethnic) heritage at a professional sports club in the country and has long argued for greater ethnic inclusivity throughout the sport. At a time when English cricket is trying to reach out to Asian communities in particular, his departure leaves the game poorly represented.
For the PCB, on the other hand, the recruitment is something of a coup – especially as Wasim is understood to have been asked to apply for the ECB’s own vacancy, the England team MD role that Andrew Strauss recently relinquished for personal reasons.
The esteem in which Wasim is held in England circles was made clear in April, when he was appointed as chair of the ECB working party that was tasked with restructuring the domestic game for 2019. He remains a strong candidate to return to English cricket one day as the ECB’s chief executive.
Constitutionally, Mani will retain significant executive powers within the PCB’s new hierarchy, but Wasim is expected to take a lead role in the board’s corporate governance framework, working with all the PCB’s board-of-governors committees.
He will have a major say in the execution of approved strategies – in particular the reinvigoration of Pakistan’s domestic cricket, with a proposed move to eight regional sides – and is also expected to oversee the development of the PCB senior management executives to improve the board’s functionality and professionalism. At present it is thought that the board employs somewhere in the region of 900 people, at an annual budget of over Rs. 500million.
The ultimate feather in Wasim’s cap, however, would be to oversee the return of regular international cricket to Pakistan. In recent seasons, the successful staging of the PSL final (and latterly the semi-finals) has begun the process of bringing top-level sport back to the country, while Zimbabwe, West Indies and a World XI have all visited without incident since 2015.
However, Pakistan has not hosted a Test tour since the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in March 2009, and England have not visited since December 2005. Wasim will hope that his excellent relationship with ECB officials will help change perceptions about the country. In addition, as a long-time supporter of the PCA (the Professional Cricketer’s’ Association; the players’ union in England and Wales) he may also look to introduce a players’ union for Pakistan cricketers that would oversee the fight against corruption and doping.
The role is sure to bring a vastly different set of challenges for Wasim, not least at a cultural level. He himself is British-born, having grown up in Birmingham, but he intends to relocate with his family to Lahore, the city in which his wife’s parents have roots.
In his playing days, Wasim was a member of the Warwickshire squad that won the double in 1995. In addition to his administrative roles within cricket, he has also sat on the Equality & Human Rights Commission Sports Group, The Prince’s Trust Cricket Group, the board of Sport England and was recently named in the Parliamentary Review Muslim 100 Power List.
At present, the day-to-day workings of the PCB are centred on the Chief Operating Officer, Subhan Ahmad, who is among the board’s longest-serving employees, having started his career as a data analyst 20 years ago. He has worked alongside four previous chairman – Ejaz Butt, Zaka Ashraf, Shahrayar Khan and Najam Sethi – prior to Mani’s appointment.
In a further indication of the board’s renewed ambition, Sami-ul-Hasan, the ICC’s highly rated head of communications, has agreed to take on the same role at the PCB.
Lyon and Abbott secure victory for New South Wales
New South Wales 261 (Patterson 107*. Abbott 69, Richardson 8-47) and 253 beat Western Australia 198 (S Marsh 81, Copeland 4-52) and 212 (Stoinis 81, Lyon 4-86)
Nathan Lyon and Sean Abbott bowled New South Wales to back-to-back Sheffield Shield wins as they secured a 104-run victory against Western Australia.
The Warriors resumed on 6 for 115 chasing 317 and soon lost Ashton Agar to Lyon who has found excellent rhythm ahead of the Test series against India.
The last man to stand between New South Wales and victory was Marcus Stoinis and for a little while he and Cameron Green started to form a useful stand before Lyon struck again to have Stoinis caught in the deep and win an absorbing contest between the two internationals.
Abbott claimed the final two wickets as he removed Green and Matthew Kelly.
Lahiru Thirimanne, Nuwan Pradeep back in Sri Lanka squad for New Zealand Tests
Batsman Lahiru Thirimanne has been recalled into Sri Lanka’s Test squad, with wicketkeeper-batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama also picked in the 17-strong outfit heading to New Zealand for two Tests in December.
Dinesh Chandimal, who missed the last two Tests of the recent series against England with a groin strain, is back to lead the side. His deputy is the opener Dimuth Karunaratne, who has been elevated to vice-captaincy ahead of fast bowler Suranga Lakmal, who led Sri Lanka in Chandimal’s absence against England.
The only major omission is that of offspinner Akila Dananjaya, who is awaiting the results of his biomechanics test, having been reported for a suspect action. Also failing to find a place in the squad is opener Kaushal Silva, who produced four modest innings in the recent series against England. Danushka Gunathilaka, who also had a poor Test at the SSC, and has been in various disciplinary scrapes over the past 18 months, has been selected, however.
The composition of the five-member seam-bowling contingent is largely as expected. Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara, who had both impressed in the West Indies, are in the squad. Dushmantha Chameera, who had a good tour of New Zealand in 2015, has been chosen as well. Senior seamers Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep are in the squad as well. Pradeep has not played a Test for over a year, but that has largely been down to injury concerns rather than form reasons.
Thirimanne, who had had an extended poor stretch before being dropped in 2017, makes his way back into the squad via runs for Sri Lanka A. He had been the highest scorer in the A team tour to Bangladesh in July, having scored 347 runs at an average of 173.5, across four innings. The 23-year-old Samarawickrama, meanwhile, has not been in particularly prolific form in the high-profile domestic competitions this year, but has been picked largely on potential. He had played four Tests toward the end of 2017 and made a high score of 38.
Sri Lanka Test squad: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera
Tasmania overcome Ferguson’s fighting hundred and the rain
Tasmania 185 (Worrall 4-42) and 353 for 8 dec (Silk 113, Bailey 63, McDermott 54) beat South Australia 136 (Bell 4-29) and 213 (Ferguson 111, Bird 4-65) by 189 runs
Tasmania overcame a superb rearguard hundred from Callum Ferguson and rain which threatened to scupper their hopes to secure a 189-run victory over South Australia.
Ferguson had started the day at the crease and there was still there at tea, but South Australia were seven down after Jackson Bird and Gabe Bell went through the top order. However, rain delayed the resumption of the final session and when it relented 19 overs were left.
Ferguson went to his century with the first ball he faced, his 219th delivery, after the break before Bird removed Nick Winter. Ferguson started to farm the strike with Kane Richardson for company but as the overs started to tick down he was pinned lbw by the impressive Bird.
The match ended in the next over when Richardson was caught in the slips off Bell who finished with 3 for 44.
Earlier in the day, wickets fell regularly as South Australia stumbled to 5 for 77. Debutant Alex Pyecroft continued his impressive start by having Jake Lehmann caught behind on the way to notable figures of 17-10-16-1.
Ferguson and Alex Carey resisted in a stand of 55 in 13 overs, but when Carey and Joe Mennie fell in the space of two deliveries to Riley Meredith the end looked like coming swiftly. Ferguson had other ideas and nearly had a helping hand, but in the end it wasn’t quite enough.
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