The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday removed Faisal Iqbal from the position Balochistan’s head coach as there is a pending inquiry against him in Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for allegedly submitting a fake matriculation certificate in 2003.
With the start of the new domestic season just a week away, the PCB, in a press release, said that it was ‘withdrawing’ Iqbal until the PIA gives him “a clean chit along with a No Objective Certificate (NOC)”.
The PCB said that the decision was taken after Iqbal admitted that the PIA was “looking into a matter” regarding his employment.
The matter, according to various publications, stems from his alleged submission of a matriculation certificate that failed the verification process at the concerned educational board and was declared “forged/tampered”.
He is purportedly one of three cricketers on PIA’s books who have also been issued show-cause notices.
“It would be unfair on Faisal Iqbal as well on his side and the tournament if he competed in a major domestic tournament until he had resolved and settled the matter with his parent organisation,” the PCB explained, adding that Iqbal could reclaim the position upon being cleared by the PIA.
Meanwhile, Balochistan’s assistant coach Wasim Haider has been elevated to the interim head coach position, the Board added.
The development caps a rough week or so for Iqbal, who had been criticised and quarantined for five days after he violated Covid-19 protocols laid out by the PCB.
Iqbal, who is legendary cricketer Javed Miandad’s nephew, has also seen his appointment with the PCB questioned multiple times on the basis of merit.
It is pertinent to mention here that PIA employees’ credentials and paperwork have been under the scanner this year after Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, in the aftermath of the Flight 8303 crash in May, revealed that 262 of the national carrier’s 860 pilots had fake licenses.