Pakistan news January 8, 2010

Former PCB chairman criticises amendments

Cricinfo staff

Former PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf has said the amendments made to the board's constitution provide the sports ministry with the authority to undermine the board's independence. The amendments, recently approved by the constitutional committee, sparked fears of the PCB being consigned to a subordinate role in running Pakistan cricket.

"This will prove the death knell for Pakistan cricket," Ashraf told Dawn. "Nowhere in the world are cricket boards run by any government body. Even in the time of Justice Cornelius, the cricket board always kept its independence and autonomy for good reasons. One can only wonder at the motive of the sports ministry. This will further make cricket victim of political vagaries and bureaucratic red-tapism."

The amendments gave the sports ministry a significant say in the functioning of the PCB. The board could now be directed by the sports ministry to take actions that it saw fit to ensure efficiency in administration and governance. Also, the government could now appoint a nominee to the PCB committees involved in tendering contracts and organising the bidding process for broadcasting rights to cricket matches.

An independent governing board headed by a visionary and competent chairman acting as a chief executive, Ashraf said, was in the best interests of Pakistan cricket. "An independent Governing Board comprising regional presidents as well as technocrats should make up the full authority, with the chairman working as chief executive to provide leadership and vision to the Governing Board."

Ashraf added he had appealed to the patron-in-chief of Pakistan cricket, President Asaf Ali Zardari, to review the amendments and said he hoped the current PCB administration will heed the views of former chairmen, including Shahryar Khan, on the matter. "I wish the authority consider the views of the former chairmen of the PCB, who have no interest except love for the game and the country as they have played their innings."