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ICC World T20 2014: Pakistan journalists unhappy with Zakir Khan gagging players

ICC World T20 2014: Pakistan journalists unhappy with Zakir Khan gagging players
Zakir Khan was named manager for the Asia Cup 2014 and ICC World T20 in Bangladesh, specifically to handle the tension surrounding Pakistan’s participation in these two events © Getty Images

Karachi: Mar 24, 2014

Pakistani journalists covering the ICC World Twenty20 (T20) 2014 in Bangladesh are not happy with the manager of the national team, Zakir Khan for gagging the players from speaking to the media.

According to stories filed by the correspondents of the “Jang” and “Express” newspapers on Sunday from Dhaka, Zakir imposed a gag order on everyone in the team except for the captain and head coach to speak to the media.

Former Test bowler Zakir, who is also Director International Cricket Operations in the Pakistan board, was named manager for the Asia Cup 2014 and ICC World T20 in Bangladesh specifically to handle the tension surrounding the Pakistan team’s participation in these two events in Bangladesh.

According to one report, Zakir candidly told the Pakistani and international media that except for the captain and head coach everyone else in the team had been told they can’t speak to the media.

“Zakir took the stance that the players needed to focus on their important match against Australia and on the tournament itself and it was best if they were kept away from the media,” the report said.

Interestingly, some Pakistani journalists also complained about this to the Chairman of the board, Najam Sethi who is in Dhaka but he also didn’t respond positively.

“Zakir said it was a media policy he had made and even the Chairman of the board will not interfere in its implementation even if journalists complained to him,” the “Jang” said.

The Pakistan team and management came under considerable pressure after the loss to India on Friday and apparently the board Chairman told Zakir he wanted better results and commitment from the players.

The electronic and print media in Pakistan have customarily had a love and hate relationship with the PCB and complaints abound about some board officials being responsible for the problems besetting Pakistan cricket.

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