Khalid Mahmood, Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, was interviewed by CricInfo on internet chat on 11 December 1998, at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, during the Second Test between Pakistan and Zimbabwe. Questions were invited from people on the chat channel. Suhael Ahmed assisted Mr Mahmood with the interview, while Rick Eyre was the moderator.

Rick: I'd like to welcome Mr Khalid Mahmood, Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, and thank him for taking the time to spend with us today.

Khalid Mahmood: I am very pleased to be here and would be happy yo answer any questions put to me.

Rick: How do you think Pakistan are going in this Test at the moment?

Khalid Mahmood: Well today they are shaping reasonably well having seen Zim off for 183 and having survived a rather tough morning they are comfortably placed at 137 for 4 and if all goes well they should be able to get a decent first innings lead

Sami: Q: what do u think of the bribery scandals against the pakistani players?

Khalid Mahmood: There have been a lot of allegations most of them without substance, our Board however, takes this matter very seriously, that is why it set up a committee to look into these allegations and for the reason that the committee lacked the legal authority to summon people the PCB requested the Government to appoint a judicial commission which was appointed in August 1998. The Commission headed by Justice Malik Mohammad Qayuum is in before the commission were afforded an adequate opportunity to do so. Based on the findings of this commission the PCB will take action that may be deemed necessary. Whereas the PCB feels that all those accused have a right to defend themselves, it has absolutely no intention of sweeping this issue under the carpet.

Sami: what do you think of the Australian confession? Meaning the confessions relating to Mark Waugh and Shane Warne.

Khalid Mahmood: We in Pakistan have been shocked to hear about it since these players had projected themselves as being absolutely clean and upholders of the highest values of the game, people in Pak had taken their allegations against one of our players very seriously and I assume same was the perception of the learned judge hearing M Waugh and M Taylor's evidence but as we learnt later that not the whole truth had been revealed, information had been withheld. Wheras, we legitimately expected to receive such information, we were taken in confidence neither by the ACB nor by the ICC. It has certainly dented thye credibility of all concerned and the people of Pakistan find it shocking.

SherShah: And will these new developments be considered by the inquiry commission ?

Khalid Mahmood: Yes, the inquiry commission has already asked for further information on the subject.

JeffGreen: Mr Mahmoud, do you think your players performance has been affected by all the media coverage of the bribery allegations?

Khalid Mahmood: Most certainly, all those players under investigation are feeling the stress and would like to get the matter sorted out as quickly as possible so that they can get on with the game rather than preparing their asset statements and filing other information required by the court.

mosin: Why is Aamer Sohail captain? how do you justify his credibility ?

Khalid Mahmood: Aamer Sohail is captain because he was appointed by the PCB council for the job. He is a tremendous player, great fighter and team man. As regards his credibilty we have nothing on our record to create any doubts about it.

SherShah: There are some rumours that Aamir Sohail is not playing this test because he disagrees with the selection committee on a number of issues, one of which is the inclusion of salim malik in the test squad. What is the real reason behind Sohail's absence?

Khalid Mahmood: The only reason Aamer is not playing this test match is that he is not well.

diss: why is it that the PCB can never seem to agree on a stable team? what are the various factors motivating the selectors to make decions that can be considered very bizarre by outside observers?

Khalid Mahmood: The remarks are a little uncharitable. Our selection committee is not fond of making unnecessary changes, The committee is headed by a very experienced test cricketer Wasim Bari (83 tests matches) and if somebody finds these selections bizarre its a matter of perception which we dont share.

SherShah: Reports have surfaced in some newspapers that Salim Elahi once again deserted the team before the test match, and that is why Mohammad Naveed was called up. Is this true and will it result in any disciplinary action, seeing as this is the second time he has done that ?

Khalid Mahmood: Reports are not accurate, Saleem Elahi had a groin injury which kept him away.

kiwisrule: What do you think of the current PAK A tour of NZ ? your view of what has happened so far? (in particualr the fact that some of the players are supposed to be in contention for the PAK side to go to the World cup)

Khalid Mahmood: The boys are there to learn. So far there have not been any outstanding performances but we do hope that the team will return richer in experience.

Rick: What is your understanding of the events surrounding the forfeiting of the match with New Zealand A last week?

Khalid Mahmood: We have been informed by the team management that the wicket was too dangerous to play and had the team resumed play on that wicket the players would have been exposed to unnecessary risks and as per rules of the game the wicket had to be restored to its original condition. The ground authority having failed to do so, the team refused to resume play as per the laws of the game.

SherShah: Is the tour of India confirmed as yet ? And is there going to be an Asian Test Championship ?

Khalid Mahmood: The tour of India has been agreed to in principle. Itinerary is being finalised. The Asian Test Chamionship is also one of the items for discussion by a special committee comprising Board Presidents of India, Pak and SRL. The committee is scheduled to meet in New Delhi on 15 and 16 December, 1998.

Sami: Q: What do u think of the Bal Thackery threat of Pak's tour to India?

Khalid Mahmood: We have to go into a very careful consideration of all threats to our security including that by Mr Thackery, but we are told by the BCCI that no body will be allowed to affect the tour of the Pakistan Cricket team.

SherShah: Who will lead the team on the tour to India ?

Khalid Mahmood: That would be a decision by the PCB council. As you know the current Pak captain is Aamer Sohail.

diss: The current pakistani team contains 4 players who have captained the team at various times in the past. Looking at the australian and south african examples, it seems that the long term captains seem to lead to more consistent teams. so why is it that the PCB has a history of chopping and changing captains so often. In particular what factors led to Rashid Latif being recalled from the wilderness to captain the team to South Africa recently?

Khalid Mahmood: Like other cricket boards, we had captains who served Pak cricket successfully over long durations. For instance Imran Khan was Pak Captain from 1982 to 1992 with the exception of a year or so when he was out of the team due to injury. After him, Pakistan have yet to find a leader of that ability, hence, frequent changes in captaincy. We do hope that after the inquiry into match fixing allegations is over the team would settled side over a reasonable period of time.

enigma: why do you think the team lost to zimbabwe in the 1st test

Khalid Mahmood: It was basically failure of our batsmen to put enough runs on the board in the seond innings to give their bowlers a chance and on the other hand the Zimbabwe team appeared to be peaking having beaten India in a test match and the Sri Lankans in ODI's in Sharjah. They showed more enthusiasm, discipline and determination which was lacking in Pakistan teams performance

Rick: Do you think Pakistan is playing too much one-day cricket? Not enough? Or about the right amount?

Khalid Mahmood: Yes, I feel that they are playing a little more ODI's than they should be playing

Sami: Will Wasim Akram be tried again for captaincy?

Khalid Mahmood: This possibility cannot be ruled out.

Khair: Are you doing anything to make the pitches of world standard? make them bouncier?

Khalid Mahmood: Yes, we would like to prepare ideal wickets for international cricket which have something for the bowlers as well as the batsmen. We have recently asked Mr Hanif Mohammad, the veteran cricketer to be associated with this exercise and the results produced so far are satisfactory considering the wickets prepared for the Peshawar and Lahore tests.

Rick: Who do you think is the greatest player in world cricket today?

Khalid Mahmood: Its difficult to call anybody the greatest player because that has to take into account so many factor. One can identify perhaps the best bowler or the best batsman but if you have in your mind somebody like a Donald Bradman, I am afraid there isn't any on the scene at the moment.

Rick: Thank you very much Mr Mahmood for spending the time with us, and for answering the questions that we have put to you today.

Khalid Mahmood: Thank you and good bye.

On-line chat

Date-stamped : 11 Dec1998 - 14:50