PCB chief Zaka Ashraf gets three-month extension

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PCB chief Zaka Ashraf gets three-month extension


Zaka Ashraf’s tenure as PCB chief will be extended for three months, as confirmed in a government notification on Saturday afternoon. The notification was confirmed by junta patron and current caretaker prime minister of Pakistan Anwar ul Haq Kakar in a television interview on Friday. Kakar, however, had indicated an extension until the end of the current World Cup.

The notification, issued by the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC), said it had “approved a three-month extension in the tenure of the current Management Committee with effect from November 5, 2023.” As has been the mandate from the beginning, the IPC said the committee should undertake the primary task of finalizing the Board of Governors (BoG) and conducting the chairmanship elections at the earliest. He also said the committee would not be granted another extension beyond February 2024, which is around the time when Pakistan will hold general elections. The committee has also been prohibited from making policy decisions or making high-level appointments.

The current interim management committee leading the board was due to end on November 5. The management’s future had been under intense scrutiny and the subject of considerable speculation in recent days after a series of high-profile missteps, including a press release appearing to shift the blame to captain Babar Azam and coach Inzamam. -ul-Haq (who has since resigned) and a controversy surrounding a leaked Whatsapp conversation between Babar and a senior PCB official.

Ashraf’s leadership has been criticized by members of the management committee, including Zulfiqar Malik and Mustafa Ramday, for his decision-making and lack of movement in holding the board elections, which was the mandate he assumed in July. . Malik sent an email to Ashraf, other committee members and the prime minister in October, setting out his criticism of PCB operations. In a separate communication, Ramday also expressed concerns about the way the board has been handled.

The options for the sponsor arriving this weekend were to appoint a new committee or give the existing one an extension over the weekend and the latter option was chosen.

“Right now, you know there’s a tournament going on,” Kakar told Dawn News TV in an interview. “After this tournament we will deal with what to do and what not to do. Right now I don’t think we are going to make a big decision. The reason is that sometimes you have to work according to the doctrine of necessity . “Once we’re past the World Cup, we’ll see.”

As prime minister, albeit acting, Kakar is also patron of the PCB and responsible for the appointment of the chairman of the board. The doctrine of necessity that Kakar cited is infamously remembered in Pakistan as a 1954 ruling by the chief justice of the Supreme Court that validated the use of extra-constitutional emergency powers, as well as a 1977 decision that validated a military coup.

Kakar’s comments came a day before Pakistan’s crucial World Cup match against New Zealand in Bengaluru, where a win meant they remained in the tournament until the final round of games.

They came after a meeting between the prime minister and Shahid Afridi, the former Pakistan captain and all-rounder, who had publicly criticized Ashraf on a television show earlier in the week. That meeting led to one on Friday between Afridi and Ashraf at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The PCB issued a statement after that meeting saying that Afridi had expressed interest in working with younger cricketers.

“Shahid Afridi expressed his interest in grooming young cricketers into future stars and positively making them complete representatives of Pakistan cricket,” the statement said. “He also admired and appreciated Mr. Zaka Ashraf’s efforts and contributions to Pakistan cricket.”