Zaka Ashraf takes charge as PCB chief after Najam Sethi’s exit

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PCB Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf at the boards headquarters in Lahore, on July 6. — APP
PCB Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf at the board’s headquarters in Lahore, on July 6. — APP
  • Ashraf receives warm welcome from senior PCB officials in Lahore.
  • His appointment as top PCB official was notified by Cabinet Division.
  • PPP and PML-N were at loggerheads over the appointment.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)-backed Zaka Ashraf Thursday assumed the charge of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee after the unceremonial departure of his predecessor Najam Sethi.

In a statement, the cricket board stated that all the formalities related to Ashraf’s appointment as head of the management committee had been completed.

Senior PCB officials welcomed the new chief upon arrival at the headquarters in Lahore, where he was set to chair the meeting of the 10-member committee, which the Cabinet Division approved through circulation on Wednesday.

Ashraf’s appointment comes after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif succumbed to the pressure exerted by coalition partner PPP in having its own man as the PCB chief.

Sethi — who is considered close to Sharifs — was given the charge to run the PCB affairs and was likely to be appointed the chairman but the bickering among the ruling alliance snubbed his plans, and he opted out of the race, paving the way for Ashraf’s appointment.

The 10-member Management Committee formed for a period of four months consists of Zaka Ashraf (ex-chairman PCB), Kalim Ullah Khan, Ashfaq Akhtar, Muhammad Mussadiq Islam, Azmat Pervez, Zaheer Abbas, Khurram Karim Somroo, Khawaja Nadeem, Mustafa Ramday and Zulfiqar Malik (all members).

“I am thankful to all including Prime Minister (Patron in Chief) for reposing trust in me,” Zaka Ashraf said while talking to The News after he was appointed the head of the newly formed MC.

The summary moved by the Ministry of Inter-provincial Coordination (IPC) to the PM office stated that in the wake of imminent international cricket events and major decisions at the International Council of Cricket (ICC) and to ensure seamless and efficient management at the helm of PCB, the ministry proposes the Constitution of a new Management Committee for a period of four months as a measure to remove the difficulties arising out of the current scenario.

Moreover, the inefficiency of the incumbent election commissioner of the PCB has resulted in numerous litigations, which may hinder the smooth functioning of the board and attract the attention of the ICC, which will not be in the interest of the country.

Therefore, the ministry is of the considered view that Ahmed Shehzad Farooq Rana may be removed from his position as Election Commissioner of PCB and Mahmood Iqbal Khakwani, Advocate, Supreme Court of Pakistan, may be appointed in his place.

The federal government later issued a separate notification in this regard.

The PCB Management Committee was dissolved on completion of its extended tenure (Annex-VI), and the affairs were handed over to the Election Commissioner of PCB under Article 7(2) of the PCB Constitution, 2014.

However, due to untimely and late decisions, elections could not be held, which was the prime function and responsibility on the part of the Election Commissioner of PCB. This has led to an uncertain scenario and the initiation of numerous litigations in various courts of law.

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