New-look PCB rings in the changes
The first raft of administrative changes have started taking place in the PCB under the leadership of new chairman Ijaz Butt. The selection committee has been re-jigged temporarily, while the team manager, Talat Ali, has decided to step down from his post.
Butt, a former Test player, took over ten days ago, in the aftermath of which chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed stepped down. The board announced today that Shafqat Rana, a member of the selection committee, has also resigned from his position.
Saleem Jaffar, the former fast bowler, and the remaining member of the previous three-man committee, becomes the chairman of selectors for now. He will be in charge of selection for the Hong Kong Sixes tournament and the three-ODI series against West Indies in Abu Dhabi next month. The two new members of the committee are former Test batsmen Ijaz Ahmed and Shoaib Mohammad. The junior selection committee has been disbanded.
In another significant change, Talat Ali has also resigned as manager of the team. Talat had been manager of the side since October 2006 and his appointment at the time was a move towards stability, away from the tradition of appointing managers series-by-series basis. Though he was brought in for ensuring discipline, a number of high-profile incidents marred his tenure.
"I have no regrets as I wanted to make way for the new chairman to bring his own team," he said. "I haven't spoken to Mr Butt but I feel its the right time to leave the job and make way for some other person."
Importantly, Talat was also seen as part of a strong clique in the team that included captain Shoaib Malik and Geoff Lawson, the coach, as well as a couple of other players.
Rarely has a month gone by in the last year where reports of dissent within the team against this group have not been present. His departure and Butt's recent less-than-flattering comments about Lawson mean that more changes in the team set-up cannot be entirely ruled out.
Sultan Rana will accompany the Hong Kong Sixes team as manager while Yawar Saeed, a veteran administrator and former manager, will take over for the ODI series in Abu Dhabi.
Reports in the press have suggested that Shafqat Naghmi, chief operating officer and a key official in Nasim Ashraf's regime, is also set to stand down.