October 30, 2008

Cricket Coaching Centre greets Ijaz Butt


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

The functionaries of the Cricket Coaching Centre (CCC), founded and run by Ahmed Mustafa, a former opening batsman, have expressed their delight at the appointment of Ijaz Butt, a former Test cricketer, as the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

The CCC has already completed two decades of its existence. In fact it has been there for more than 21 years now. Ahmed Mustafa has kept the institution afloat with the support of his like-minded friends.

Ahmed Mustafa, with his contemporaries Asif Ahmed and Mahmood-ul-Hasan, has been working with missionary zeal to contribute their bit in the cricket development by running the CCC with limited resources at their disposal.

“We are thrilled at the appointment of Ijaz Butt as the new PCB Chairman. Besides his known qualities of administration and management it’s his background as Test cricketer that gladdens our hearts. He knows the Pakistan cricket inside out. He can make a difference,” the trio of former cricketers,Ahmed Mustafa, Asif Ahmed and Mahmood-ul-Hasan, said in a joint statement.

Jahangir Moghul, Vice President, CCC, has also greeted Ijaz Butt on assuming the charge as the PCB Chairman.

Although quite a few coaching academies have come into prominence in the country during the last five to eight years, it’s the one set up by Ahmed Mustafa in 1987 having pioneered the idea.

Ahmed Mustafa, who narrowly missed playing for Pakistan because of a tragic road accident, has made a name for himself by setting up the CCC that has already produced Test and one-day cricketers.

Like any other project, the CCC was also off to a modest start. A few nets here and there at the Aga Khan Gymkhana attracted much more youngsters than Ahmed Mustafa or any of his friends had anticipated The response was terrific as this was for the first time that coaching was being provided and that too free of cost.

The CCC had to be shifted to a nearby location where the Alam brothers were generous enough to allow Ahmed Mustafa and his team to install the nets at their residence where proper coaching sessions were conducted.

56 Depot Lines remained in the news for years as cricket celebrities from the country as well as abroad kept visiting and appreciating Ahmed Mustafa’s venture. Even the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Azharduddin paid a visit to the CCC and passed a few coaching tips to the trainees.

The legendary Imran Khan spent hours at the nets of the CCC to guide the enthusiastic youngsters. The great Javed Miandad also visited the CCC more than once. The master tactician Hanif Mohammad spared his time for the CCC.

It was General Tauqir Zia, Chairman, Pakistan Cricket Board, who realized the importance of the services being rendered by Ahmed Mustafa and the CCC was finally allowed to use the practice facilities in the outer area of the National Stadium, Karachi.

It was a very good decision of the PCB Chairman, who accorded great respect to Ahmed Mustafa’s efforts. Gen Tauqir Zia remained appreciative of the project and the CCC had got into life with its shifting of base to the NSK. Ahmed Mustafa and the CCC enjoyed their best time in the days of Gen Tauqir Zia.

Things went from bad to worse when Shaheryar Khan took over as the chief of the PCB. Ahmed Mustafa is a soft person who doesn’t like to complain. He may not say it in public but the fact remains that the CCC didn’t get the recognition and support from the PCB during the tenure of Shaheryar Khan. The days of Dr Nasim Ashraf didn’t bring any joys for the CCC either. People close to the PCB chief were not sympathetic to the cause of the CCC.

The new leadership of the PCB can take the CCC on board in their own training and coaching programmes. The Board should extend fullest support to the CCC because their proactive relationship would be mutually beneficial. And most importantly it would be helpful to the larger interest of the game.


Recent Posts