Pakistan news March 3, 2009

Pakistan senators seek immediate change in board

Cricinfo staff

In the line of fire: Ijaz Butt © Getty Images

The Pakistan senate's standing committee on sports has moved a resolution for an "immediate change" in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) management following a hearing at parliament on Monday.

"After having three meetings with the PCB, it is our opinion that the affairs of PCB are in disarray and the current management does not have the capabilities and vision for any improvement in the game of cricket," said the resolution. "We, the sports committee, recommend to the government, that the present management be changed immediately and induct competent people to run the PCB."

Senators Fauzia Zaman, Kausar Firdous, Enver Baig, Sabina Rauf, Nilofar Bakhtiar, Tahir Mashhadi and Haroon Akhtar were the seven members of the sports committee who signed the resolution, which was passed after what was described by a senator as "yet another fruitless meeting" with a senior board official.

Saleem Altaf, PCB's chief operating officer, was the only senior board official to turn up for the meeting though the committee had also summoned Ijaz Butt, the chairman of the board.

"The PCB chairman stayed away from the meeting with a lame excuse that he was having a meeting with ICC officials in Lahore," Baig told Pakistan daily, the News. "The chairman was lambasted by the committee members for missing the hearing."

Baig said the committee members were angry at the lack of competence among the PCB top brass and hinted at meeting president Asif Zardari, who as PCB's patron-in-chief has the authority to appoint a new board chairman.

"It has become crystal clear that the people running cricket in our country are the wrong people for the job," he said. "That is why we would strongly recommend to the patron of the board to bring in competent officials in the PCB."

The resolution against the PCB caps a happening tussle between the committee and the board which has come under a lot of fire from the senators. At a previous meeting with the PCB top brass last month, the senators were highly critical of the 'mess' in Pakistan cricket.

Following that meeting, Butt addressed a press conference in Lahore in which he said the committee had no powers over national cricket affairs. "They have no power to tell us to do something," Butt had said. "They can criticise us as much as they want but the only one who can take decisions like that is the patron of the board."

In response, the senate's sports committee filed a privilege motion against the PCB boss.