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PCB chief Ashraf to involve Imran
- Experts to lecture on laws of the game, ethics and doping at national camp

Calcutta: Dr Nasim Ashraf, who has just completed a month as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), intends seeking World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan’s help in drawing up a “strategic plan” for the short term and the longer road beyond.

“I’ve been an admirer of Imran’s unbelievable leadership and have been talking to him quite often... In fact, I’ve requested him to attend a seminar in Lahore on November 16, where I’ve invited other greats as well,” Dr Ashraf told The Telegraph in Mumbai on Monday morning.

Speaking at the ITC Sheraton before setting out for breakfast with the Wadias, he added: “The seminar is going to be held at the Gaddafi (where the PCB is headquartered)... In the short term, obviously, our focus is on next year’s World Cup. However, we also want to look ahead and see how Pakistan can consistently be a dominant force...”

Imran, who is a Member of the National Assembly and a vehement critic of President Pervez Musharraf (the PCB’s patron-in-chief), is expected to accept the invitation. While he has been giving pep talks to the team, off and on, the PCB hasn’t exactly involved him in a big way so far.

The iconic Imran retired in 1992, soon after the World Cup triumph.

Meanwhile, learning from the doping scandal which has snared the two principal strike bowlers (Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Asif), the PCB has decided to invite “experts” who will lecture on subjects such as laws of the game, ethics and doping when the national camp begins in Lahore on Tuesday.

That camp is for the upcoming series against the West Indies. It takes off with the Gaddafi Test, beginning Saturday.

“I understand that communication is an important aspect and, so, I’ve suggested some names... I need to check on the schedule, but some expert is going to be there on each day of the camp... I hope this exercise will bring about more awareness and, as a result, better understanding of important issues,” Dr Ashraf said.

Incidentally, his paternal grandfather, Lala Karim Buksh, was a contemporary of Lala Amarnath and played for the Cricket Club of India (CCI). “It was an emotional moment when I entered the CCI for the Champions Trophy final... I was myself an allrounder and have played for Pakistan at the U-19 level,” Dr Ashraf pointed out.

In passing, he mentioned that his grandfather is credited with “introducing” cricket in the North West Frontier Province.

Besides being the PCB chief, the 56-year-old Dr Ashraf heads the National Commission for Human Development and has the rank of minister of state. Till he took up that assignment in 2001 (at the behest of President Musharraf no less), he was a practising nephrologist in the US.

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