Restoration of departmental teams delayed

Pakistan first-class cricket season starts in September

July 21, 2023
First-class cricket match in progress — PCB

KARACHI: Only about a month is left before the domestic cricket season starts, but not a single departmental team has been announced officially so far.

Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif, who is also patron in chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), lifted the ban on departmental sports last year. 

Pakistan first-class cricket season starts in September. Eight departmental cricket teams will participate in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy this year. Departmental teams, which were abolished in 2019 and are to participate in domestic cricket after a gap of two years, have not announced the establishment of their teams so far.

Sources connected to the development of restoration of departmental cricket teams said that verbal agreement between the players and management of different departments have been completed but letters have not been issued so far.

Sources said that one of the main reasons in the delay of the restoration of departmental cricket teams is the lack of approval of sports budget by the own departments.

They said that contract letters and appointment letters would be issued in August, sources said. 

Sources explained that the sports budget of the departments is finalised and approved one to two months after the federal government budget. 

"That's why there is delay in the establishment of cricket teams but all preparations have been completed," said a source.

Sources said in August a number of departments would announce their cricket teams and officials. Sources further said that the change in the PCB’s hierarchy earlier this month and country’s political and economical circumstances are also the reason of sluggish pace in the restoration of departmental sports teams. But the departments sports officials are seriously working on this matter and holding talks with cricketers.

A numbers of leading cricketers and emerging cricketers have been informally hired and details in this regard would emerge next month, sources said. Meanwhile, it was learnt that seven departmental teams have confirmed their participation in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.