Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has placed a blanket ban on any of its employees appearing as commentators on television.
The decision to bar employees, including former Pakistan and first class cricketers, to work as commentators came after the PCB faced considerable criticism for allowing chief selector Haroon Rasheed and selector Azhar Khan to commentate during the national super eight T20 tournament in Faisalabad.
More criticism followed when the PCB allowed its National Cricket Academy bowling coach Muhammad Akram to also commentate during the just-concluded Pakistan and Zimbabwe series.
A senior official of the Board said chairman Shaharyar Khan has now issued strict instructions that no former player on the PCB's payroll will commentate in a match as it represented a conflict of interest in many ways.
"The Board has realised it was a mistake to allow Haroon or even Akram to sit as commentators and this will not happen again," he said.
The official said in fact the Board was preparing a revised media policy also for its contracted players or members of the national team.
"In recent times a number of these players have come and sought permission from the Board to work for television channels during a series after first committing to the assignment," the official said.
He said in future the Board would only give permission for special cases as the primary job of the contracted players and national team players was to focus on their game.
A reliable source in the PCB said that one of the clauses in the central contract which caused differences between players and the Board pertained to media appearances by cricketers for different channels during major events and bilateral series.
Contracted players like Saeed Ajmal, Muhammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali and a few others all appeared on different channels for handsome fees during the World Cup as experts.