Pakistan board defends its chief executive
The Pakistan Cricket Board has been forced to come out in defence of its embattled chief executive, Rameez Raja, as the hunt for a scapegoat intensifies in the aftermath of India's historic series victory.
Rameez, who joined the PCB in 2000, enjoyed a spotless reputation as Pakistan's captain, a role he took on in 1996 when several other candidates were embroiled in match-fixing allegations. But during the recent series against India, he attracted raised eyebrows for his dual role as administrator and commentator for Ten Sports, and his integrity was subsequently called into question by some sections of the Pakistani media.
"It hurts me deeply when fingers are pointed at my integrity," said Rameez. "I have maintained a very honest approach throughout my cricketing career and would leave no stone unturned in defending my position in my new role as PCB chief executive."
In an attempt to clear his name, the PCB has released details of Rameez's expenses, which demonstrate that he has been living well within his budget. He has spent just 22,000 rupees (about £220) of his entertainment allowance in 40 months with the PCB; he has not yet touched his medical allowance, and he has not taken on the driver, security guard, cook and servant that usually come with the job.
"I am confident that after these revelations," said Rameez, "the experts and columnists will refrain from accusing me of lavishly throwing away the funds of the board." Had he claimed his full entitlements, his expenses over the three years would have been in excess of 1.3million rupees (£13,000).
"Nowhere else in the world would an institution have to come out in defence of its chief executive," added a PCB spokesman. "But the PCB has been forced to do this because of the serious allegations that have been levelled against Rameez Raja. The PCB urges the concerned quarters to look into the role of Rameez fairly and honestly."