“We will do a transparent review of the whole season, starting from the England series.”
The PCB’s cricket committee will meet on Tuesday to review Pakistan’s 2020-21 season, including the team’s performance in the recent series against New Zealand. Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling Waqar Younis will both be debriefed on a tour where Pakistan lost the Tests 2-0 and T20Is 2-1.
The committee had been formed in October 2018 to assist the PCB chairman Ehsan Mani, but the responsibilities delegated to the panel were limited to just recommendations. Saleem Yousaf, the new head of the committee, is the fourth incumbent in 26 months.
The role of the committee broadly encompasses cricketing affairs both domestically as well as internationally, but they aren’t allowed to interfere in day-to-day selection matters. While the committee has not been given any decision-making powers, they have been handed a wide remit. The committee meets three times a year; the upcoming meeting is the first of 2021.
One of the key agendas in Tuesday’s meeting will be to assess the performances of Misbah and Waqar, who have both been under scrutiny for the team’s poor results lately. The batting coach Younis Khan, however, was surprisingly exempted. While the PCB had indicated after the New Zealand tour that there may be a shakeup in the coaching staff, the board’s chief executive Wasim Khan only confirmed a “transparent review” was in order.
“Committees will recommend whatever it is, good or bad, and after that Ehsan Mani will assess and take a final decision,” Wasim said. “At the moment we can’t speculate and there should be a transparent evaluation of the performance. We will do the review of the whole season, starting from England series. There will be debate and there will be questions but it doesn’t mean there will be definitely some changes.
“Speculations are always there whenever we lose and new names (to replace the present) come up. It is disrespectful to Waqar and Misbah and nothing has changed as yet but their performances will be reviewed.”
Ever since Misbah took charge of the team, the PCB has taken several bold decisions, such as removing the captaincy from Sarfaraz Ahmed and dropping him from all three formats. Soon after, Azhar Ali was made the Test captain while Babar Azam was chosen to lead the team in limited overs. However, after the England series last year, Ali was also stripped off the captaincy, with the role handed to Azam.
After another review last October, Misbah stepped down as Pakistan’s chief selector, but agreed to continue as head coach till 2022.
When asked why the PCB hands three-year contracts to their coaches if the management is reviewed after every series, Khan said, “There should be some continuity and security in contracts. We do give contracts in good faith and this cricket committee meeting will not necessarily recommend a change. This is purely a review and assessment of the cricket we have played so far.”
The meeting will be chaired by Yousaf, while other members include Umar Gul, Urooj Mumtaz and Wasim Akram, who will join via video. The PCB said the committee’s recommendations will be announced in due course.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent