With the change of government there is talk of bringing about change with the help of political intervention at the helm in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). This is in contravention of the PCB’s constitution and the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) directives, which could suspend Pakistan’s membership of the global body. It still does not deter those who harbour the ambition to occupy the Chairman PCB’s office and they are relentlessly pursuing the new federal government to intrude and enforce a change.
The main argument that they are employing while egging on the government is putting the chairman PCB Ch. Zaka Ashraf’s elections in doubt. The facts though belie this perception.
The PCB’s constitution was changed because the ICC had asked all its full member countries to amend their constitutions in 2012, making certain of their autonomy to the extent of freeing themselves from government intervention. It was not just a suggestion, the directive was given with the intent to implement and the ICC had given a June 30, 2013 deadline. But as all the Boards with the exception of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh already had constitutions that ensured their independence from the government, practically the ICC order was meant for the three Asian nations other than India. From among these three, Pakistan then became the first to comply with the ICC’s deadline.
Though in this the Pakistan government’s willing cooperation was attained, the most important part of the new constitution was that not only the constitution was approved by the ICC but also the mode of selection of the new chairman.
This is also a fact that Ch. Zaka Ashraf was elected the PCB chairman by the board of governor exactly in accordance with the letter and spirit of the specified procedure. And Ch. Zaka Ashraf was not even present when multiple candidates were assessed for the slot before he was offered the position.
Now a most deliberate attempt is being made to cast aspersions and doubts about Ch. Zaka Ashraf’s person and his election, which is indeed not only most unfair, it is having a fallout in the shape of the performance of the team.
The Pakistan team under Misbah-ul-Haq had attained such remarkable consistency over a period of the full one year and a half with Zaka Ashraf as chairman – the only exception being the Test part of the South Africa tour. But then no Pakistan team has ever really covered itself in glory in South Africa – especially in Test cricket.
The same team has now abjectly surrendered in the ongoing Champions Trophy only because the Board has been so unsettled through rumour mongering and court cases. It is about time that this is stopped, for this has the potential to further Pakistan cricket and its image when it requires sober and mature handling to keep it steady.