PCB Swaps Wasim Akram for Imran Khan in Tribute Video
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has unintentionally deepened its problems while trying to resolve a controversy surrounding a video tribute to former players. Initially, the PCB received criticism on social media for omitting former captain Imran Khan from the tribute video released on August 14. In response, the PCB offered an unusual explanation late on Wednesday. They claimed that due to time constraints, the original video was shortened, resulting in the removal of crucial clips. However, they asserted that the issue had been fixed in a revised version of the video.
The PCB had also recently launched a promotional campaign leading up to the 2023 World Cup, with the tribute video forming a part of it. Despite the claim of editing for time, both the original video without Imran and the so-called "complete" version are nearly the same length. This time, though, the PCB replaced all instances of Wasim Akram with Imran Khan. Cricket enthusiasts on social media are now expressing confusion about the absence of Wasim Akram.
On Tuesday, Wasim criticized the PCB for ignoring Imran Khan's contributions in some of Pakistan cricket's most memorable moments. Rashid Latif, a former captain, found the PCB's explanation hard to accept. He questioned why the PCB didn't promptly acknowledge and fix the mistake as soon as backlash erupted in social and mainstream media.
Latif pointed out that the PCB's verified X (formerly Twitter) account allows videos up to 7-8 minutes long. There's no time limit on YouTube for the PCB channel to upload longer videos. Latif concluded that the explanation of "duration problems" seems like an attempt to save face. He demanded answers about who authorized, produced, approved, and released the video.
In an ironic twist, the PCB garnered mixed reactions when it uploaded a two-and-a-half-minute video on Thursday. This video aimed to chronicle Pakistan's journey in various World Cups from 1975 to 2019. However, the video lacks narration and proper footage of Pakistan's World Cup appearances and significant moments.
Asking the PCB to delete the video and apologize, Akram wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter):
“After long flights and hours of transit before reaching Sri Lanka, I got the shock of my life when I watched PCB’s short clip on the history of Pakistan cricket minus the great Imran Khan… political differences apart but Imran Khan is an icon of world cricket and developed Pakistan into a strong unit in his time and gave us a pathway… PCB should delete the video and apologize.”
This development has sparked discussions about whether a mere 2 minutes and 30 seconds suffice to capture Pakistan's journey in the 50-over cricket tournaments. As these situations unfold, the PCB faces the challenge of addressing both the mysterious alterations to the tribute video and the criticism over its latest World Cup retrospective.
Amidst this turmoil, the PCB is navigating through fan expectations, historical context, and the scrutiny inherent in being a prominent entity in international cricket. The path forward for the PCB involves rectifying these controversies and restoring its standing within the cricketing community.