LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials, appointed by its Patron-in-Chief Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, have seemingly turned tables on the government.
In a move that seems aimed at saving their skins — and their posts — PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan and executive committee chairman Najam Sethi have secured protection from any government crackdown on the country’s cricket governing body in the wake of poor recent results.
That happened after the PCB’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday which passed a unanimous resolution against government’s interference in PCB’s internal matters, saying it would be a violation of the board’s democratic constitution.
With the national team reeling from below-par performances at the Asia Cup and World Twenty20 in the last month, pressure has increased on the government to remove the current PCB set-up forthwith.
Federal Sports Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada recently announced in the National Assembly that the performance of entire PCB set-up had been pathetic and called for an overhaul.
In view of that situation the General Body members, who weren’t consulted by the Prime Minister when Shaharyar and Sethi were appointed, became part of the resolution, sources told Dawn.
Moreover, not only does the General Body has no role in appointment of the PCB chairman but it isn’t even consulted during the appointment of the national team’s coaching staff or endorse the decisions of the national selection committee — contrary to what its role should be in a democratic constitution.
“The AGM passed the unanimous resolution stating that government interference in the internal affairs of the PCB was not acceptable because it violated the democratic PCB constitution sanctioned and approved by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and International Cricket Council (ICC),” the PCB stated in a press release issued after the meeting.
Sources added that during the course of the meeting, Sethi tried to prove several times that he had more authority than Shaharyar.
When heads of the regional associations requested the PCB to take notice of the mistakes in team selections for the Pakistan Cup, Sethi asked the members to send their complaints directly to him moments after Shaharyar had asked them to do the same.
The two most powerful men in Pakistan cricket, meanwhile, said that they weren’t responsible for the team selections in the tournament since the captains and coaches of the five teams selected the players in the draft.
Sethi informed the members that the Pakistan Super League (PSL) was a huge financial success for the PCB, and that the franchises were happy that the value of their assets had increased substantially.
He did not, however, announce the exact profit earned by the PCB but said the “PSL profits were substantially higher than projected”.
The PCB is yet to announce any detail on the expenses incurred and profits made during the lucrative league.
Shaharyar, meanwhile, briefed the members about his attempts in bringing back international cricket to Pakistan, saying Afghanistan, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh women’s teams had visited the country.
The General Body also endorsed the decision of giving playing rights to the Panjgur district.