By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Prof Siraj-ul-Islam Bukhari, the fatherly figure of Pakistan cricket, has regretted the omission of some deserving players from Karachi in the 22-member national squad announced for the upcoming home series of One-day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals against the visiting Zimbabweans.
Having been the longest serving Secretary of the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), besides being a President for four years, Prof Siraj Bukhari, has in fact lodged a strong protest with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for ignoring the cricketers from Karachi and has appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also the Patron in Chief of the PCB, to hold an enquiry for what he described as step motherly and biased action.
He has strongly urged Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is himself one of the greatest-ever cricketers of the country besides being a highly successful captain, for including the deserving players from Karachi in the national squad for the Zimbabwe series.
In an impassioned press statement, issued on October 23, Prof Siraj Bukhari, whose association with the KCCA lasted nearly four decades, observed that it was for the first time in the history of Pakistan cricket when such biased and prejudiced treatment has been meted out to cricketers of the city of Karachi, having a population of more than 25 million, which has given bulk of outstanding to the country.
He pointed out that the non-inclusion of Danish Aziz, who came up with exceptional performances in the recently held National T-20 cricket tournament in which he earned Man of the Match award two times, Hassan Khan, Azam Khan and Zahid Mahmood of Dadu from the younger lot and Khurram Manzoor and Sohail Khan from the experienced hands who also performed consistently, amounted to injustice.
“I will like to make a fervent appeal to the PCB Patron in Chief to hold an enquiry and do justice to these deserving and highly talented cricketers,” Prof Siraj Bukhari concluded.