PCB’s ‘no-media interaction’ policy paying dividends for the board

Monday, January 17, 2011

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Cricket Board’s new policy that gags its officials, national players and team management from giving out reckless statements in the media or leaking out inside information appears to have started to pay dividends for the board.

Last month, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt had signed a new order, which specifically made it clear that the board would minimize direct interaction with the media and instead rely on press handouts, according to a source.

“Ijaz, while agreeing to adhere to the new policy, signed the new order that is binding on players and officials alike,” the Daily Times quoted a source, as saying..

“Letters were issued to all national team players and reserves, team officials and even board employees which they had to sign under which they agreed to only speak to the media if given permission,” the source added.

He said although some of the national team members had taken offence to the new policy, they signed it after being told in clear words that they had to either accept the board policies and play on or take to the sidelines.

“As a result of the new policy, the board is now keeping its interaction with the media mainly through press releases, and only the media department is now handling all queries from the media, whereas in the past, anyone in the board or team directly responded to media queries,” said the source.

Pakistan’s limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi had also been told to pull up his socks and stop giving statements in the media without permission of the team manager, said the source, adding that even chief selector Mohsin Khan was issued a notice by chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed for making some unnecessary comments on the team.

“Mohsin was asked to explain why he gave the statement after being a signatory to the new media policy and had to apologise,” the source revealed.

“This is one reason why the PCB chairman has also changed his habit of talking to the media on a regular basis on every issue. He was in Karachi on Saturday for the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final but didn’t have any media talk. The chairman was himself unhappy over the way internal matters of the team became talking points in the media with the help of sources and vowed to take to task players or officials involved in leaking out inside info to the media,” the source added.

Last year, Ijaz had got into serious trouble when he gave an interview making allegations against the England team players. (ANI)

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