LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday announced that it will be inviting and encouraging former cricketers to return to the field by considering various roles such as match officials in the 2020-21 domestic season.
"Pakistan cricket has produced some of the great cricketing minds and it is time we utilise them. A cricketer understands the nitty-gritty of the game and with proper training can play a big role in elevating the standards as a match official," PCB Director - High Performance, Nadeem Khan said in an official release.
The board has decided to follow this route for providing career opportunities to retired players and also enabling them to become international match officials by adjudicating in domestic matches.
Currently, only Aleem Dar represents Pakistan in the ICC's elite panel of match officials. Ahsan Raza, Shozab Raza, Mohammad Asif Yaqoob, and Rashid Riaz Waqar are in the ICC's international panel.
While there is no Pakistani in the ICC's elite panel of match referees, the international panel includes Mohammad Anees and Muhammad Javid Malik.
"Our decision to invite cricketers who are under the age of 40 and have at least 50 first-class matches results from a comprehensive plan to involve more former players in the system and set a pathway for aspiring umpires and match referees to make a mark at the highest level," the PCB Director added.
The creation of these opportunities is in line with the PCB's strategic decision to increase the involvement of former players in the domestic cricket set-up and to train and develop the local talent in all facets of the game.
The former cricketers must have played at least 50-first class matches and they should be under the age of 40 to meet the eligibility criteria set by the PCB.The opportunities as match officials have come after the PCB recently encouraged former cricketers to apply for various coaching roles in the High-Performance Programme.
Separately, the PCB is also planning to rope in former international and first-class cricketers in media roles as it is planning to live-stream and televise domestic matches.