Pak cricketers must get players’ association for ‘welfare from one common platform’

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

LAHORE - Former Pakistan first class cricketer Aamir Bashir’s untimely death due to cancer has led to a call from former national captains and players for the establishment of a players’ association in the country.

“I think the way and the conditions in which Aamir Bashir passed away is sad, and there are many other players facing similar financial problems. The formation of the players’ association will mean they can work for the welfare of players from one common platform,” the Daily Times quoted former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja, as saying.

He made it clear that forming a players’ association did not mean that the players wanted to confront the authority of the PCB.

“It should not be viewed that way. If we have a proper association it can work for the welfare of players and also educate them on how to handle things and behave while playing for Pakistan,” said Ramiz, adding that such an association could actually play a vital role in bridging any communication gap between the players and the board.

Bashir was suffering from cancer for the last few years, and although the PCB provided him with half a million rupees and some Pakistan cricketers also pitched in with help to fund his medical expenses, he lost his battle with the dreaded disease at a relatively young age of 38.

“When you are fighting with a terminal illness, having financial issues plays a big role in only worsening the disease,” said former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif, who had campaigned to raise funds for Bashir.

A players’ association does not exist in Pakistan, as the PCB does not encourage such a body.

Rashid noted that the board did not give permission whenever efforts were made to form a players’ association in the past.

Former Test leg-spinner Abdul Qadir said that when he was chief selector, he had tried to launch the association but had faced problems.

“Even if the board does not give us permission, we can easily go to court and get permission because I think it is the right of cricketers to have a representative body in the country it is long overdue,” Qadir said.

He said that if all players got united, there was no way the board could prevent them from forming the association.

“I just feel in Pakistan cricket, where there are so many disputes and controversies, a players association can play a very productive and positive role,” Qadir added. (ANI)

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