PCB''s policy to gag officials, players paying dividends

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Lahore, Jan 16 (PTI) A new policy of the Pakistan CricketBoard that gags board officials, national players and teammanagement from giving out reckless statements in the media orallegedly leaking out inside information appears to havestarted to pay dividends for the PCB.

According to a well-informed source, PCB chairman IjazButt last month signed a new order which specifically made itclear that the board would minimize direct interaction withthe media and instead rely on press handouts.

"Butt while agreeing to himself adhere to the new policysigned the new order that is binding on players and officialsalike," the source said.

The source said that the new media policy came after theboard carried out an internal indepth review of its workingand realized that much of the controversies and scandals itfaced stemmed from the fact that players, team officials andboard members were prone to giving reckless statements in themedia without thinking about the consequences.

"Letters were issued to all national team players andreserves, team officials and even board employees which theyhad to sign under which they agreed to only speak to the mediaif given permission," the source said.

He said some of the members of the national team hadtaken offence to the new policy but then signed it after beingtold in clear words either they accepted board policies andplayed on or took to the sidelines.

"As a result of the new policy the board is now keepingits interaction with the media mainly through press releasesand only the media department is now handling all queries fromthe media whereas in the past anyone in the board or teamdirectly responded to media queries," the source said.

He said that Pakistan''s one-day captain Shahid Afridi hadalso been told to pull up his socks and stop giving statementsin the media without permission of the team manager.

The source said even chief selector Mohsin Khan wasissued a notice by the chief operating officer Subhan Ahmedafter making some unnecessary comments on the team.

"Mohsin was asked to explain why he gave the statementafter being a signatory to the new media policy and had toapologize," the source added.

"This is one reason why the PCB Chairman has also changedhis habit of talking to the media on regular basis on everyissue. He was in Karachi on Saturday for the Quaid-e-AzamTrophy final but didn''t have any media talk," the source said.

"The board Chairman was himself unhappy over the wayinternal matters of the team became talking points in themedia with the help of sources and vowed to take to taskplayers or officials involved in leaking out inside info tothe media," he said.

Butt last year had got into serious trouble when he gavean interview to an Indian channel making allegations againstthe England team players.

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