Pakistan news

High Court suspends Ashraf as PCB chairman

Umar Farooq

May 28, 2013

Comments: 31 | Text size: A | A

PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf talks to the press, Karachi, January 10, 2012
Zaka Ashraf, who has been the PCB's chairman since 2011, was elected to a fresh four-year term in the role earlier this month © AFP

The Islamabad High Court has ordered the suspension of Zaka Ashraf, the head of Pakistan's cricket board, over what it called the "dubious" and "polluted" process to elect him.

Ashraf, the PCB chairman, was ordered to "refrain from exercising his power within his incumbency" till the court's next hearing on June 13.

The court was responding to a petition filed by a former Rawalpindi Cricket Association official against the Pakistan board's elections that were held earlier this month - through which Ashraf was elected to a four-year term as chairman.

"The petitioner has a good arguable case in his favour, as entire process of election of PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf appeared to be motivated and polluted," Justice Shaukat Siddiqui said.

PCB's legal representative Tafuzul Rizvi in response told ESPNcricinfo that the board will assist the court during the next hearing. "We will present the facts before the court and after that any decision will be followed in letter and spirit," Rizvi said.

The board of governors meeting and the AGM that was scheduled to take place in Karachi on May 28 and 29 has been postponed in wake of the court's decision. The board however will continue to function without a chairman in the interim.

In more bad news for the PCB, five top regional associations - Lahore, Karachi, Multan, Faisalabad and Sialkot - have also revolted against Ashraf, alleging a fallacious electoral process. The five associations, presently dismissed by the PCB, constituted an interim committee to run the city associations.

There are two more petitions relating to the election pending against the PCB - one in the Lahore High Court, and the other in the Sindh High Court that was filed by former wicketkeeper Rashid Latif. The petition in the Sindh High Court is scheduled to come up for hearing on Wednesday.

Ashraf was elected in the first week of May, under the new PCB constitution that replaced the system of appointing the PCB chairman by the patron of the board, the president of Pakistan. It was the first election of a PCB chairman.

He was one of the two candidates - the other being former Lahore Stock Exchange chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan - recommended by the patron and then interviewed by the nomination committee. The committee then unanimously recommended Ashraf for the chairman's post, before the board of governors unanimously endorsed him.

As per the new constitution, the board of governors was restructured to include ten members - five regional representatives on the basis of rotation and five representatives of service organisations and departments - with voting rights. Of the ten, PCB was able to appoint nine, all of whom voted in favour of Ashraf's nomination. However, there was no representation from Punjab, Pakistan's largest province with 60% of country's population, while two new regions without any first-class team - Larkana and Dera Murad Jamali - were drafted in to the board.

The process was conducted without any prior announcement, the PCB revealing the appointment through a press release.

The PCB's new constitution was produced as a result of the 2011 ICC directive, which required that its member boards become autonomous and free of interference from governments by June 2013. Removal of government interference had also been one of the Woolf report recommendations approved by the ICC. However, in November 2012, the ICC said it was reviewing its stance against government involvement in the administration of cricket.

Ashraf has been the PCB's chairman since 2011, previously working under the old constitution, under which he was appointed for an indefinite period by the patron, President Asif Ali Zardari.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Umar Farooq

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (June 1, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

How do you measure performance? One way is to compare it with history.

Is Zaka doing a better job than Ijaz?

I believe so, i think he has done that impeccably considering the spaghetti left by incumbent.

Guys, you need to realize that you don't need to be a cricketer to run an organization. Skills are different.

I respect Rashid Latif as a player.

Again, unless there is someone out there that can / would be able out perform Zaka, we should keep him.

Posted by Toescrusher on (May 31, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

No matter how well Zaka Ashraf has done, if his selection as PCB chairman has constitutional wrong doing involved then his selection is period wrong! please don't give any justification, thanks.

Posted by avmd on (May 30, 2013, 10:26 GMT)

The way Zaka got himself "elected" was wrong and laughable, I'm glad someone took notice of it. A man who has no cricketing background could be appointed but unlikely to be elected in fair elections.

Posted by   on (May 29, 2013, 11:15 GMT)

Well there is no doubt that this man did a hell job for the betterment of cricket not just for Pakistan but he is an example for all other countries too. A great man. but if he is not following the constitute , He must be punished No matter how good he is . Law is equal for all.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (May 29, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

I am with GetSetGoPk on this one: Zaka is a very capable chairman. Ijaz Butt inflicted an immense damage to Pakistan cricket on the field and outside the field. i do realise that Zaka's political masters might not be in favour anymore, however, who else is the better choice. Zaka is shrewed and he has made some good calculated moves. Pakistan is not depending on Indian tours anymore. Pakistani players are playing in Sri Lankan and Carrbian leagues. Pakistan has a safe captain in Misbah. Pakistan is in news now a days only because of good things...A bad administrator can ruin the brand. An example is IPL and BCCI. Rashid Latif is a very passionate man and I have always admired him, however, perhaps it is time that he goes to Afghanistan and continues his coaching there. Zakar Asharf has earned a lot of respect and he should be allowed to continue. Pakistan has one of best suited attacks in English conditions and it is time to win against in England!

Posted by getsetgopk on (May 29, 2013, 8:38 GMT)

Im just amazed to see some of the most ignorant comments made by the Pak supporters here. Just take a break and understand what has just happened here. Our cricket team is away on one of the most prestigious ODI tournament after the WC and back home the chief of PCB has been sacked. What if someone asks Misbah or any other player in a press conference to 'shed a bit of light' on whats going on in Pak cricket, what will these players feel? Now morale has shattered long before the actual thing begins. Did Latif thought one bit about the timing of this action, apparently not. And what was he doing all this time, its been a month or more since those elections and he's filing a petition now? How about filing a petition after the CT? And lastly administration and cricket are two different things. A good cricket is not guarenteed to become a good cricket administrator, e.g Ijaz Butt played test cricket for Pak, Zaka never played. A good cricketer isn't even guaranteed to become a good coach.

Posted by asim229 on (May 29, 2013, 3:46 GMT)

The same person who appointed ijaz butt appointed zaka ashraf so how can he be better than ijaz butt. The chairman Pcb should always be a former cricketer and what does Zaka Ashraf knows about cricket. Pakistan crickef furthur declined in his tenure by poor selection and poor old captain and instead of trying to bring cricket back to pakistan he furthur made things worst by fighting with boards which were previously friends with pakistan e.g bangladesh.

Posted by Kak-mal_Khan on (May 29, 2013, 0:38 GMT)

I have always had a lot of time for Rashid Latif, he spoke out against corruption and match fixing, at a time when many joined in or held their silence. Howeve he also remains a person continously opposed, and that can also be disruptive in this case (although not entirely his doing). Just before the Champions Trophy the PCB Chairman has been suspended, also this sends a horrible message to other nations that may have been impressed with what Mr Ashraf has done since taking over from the incompetent Mr Butt, one of the things that really has impressed during his tenure is that he has remained proactive, and much was done in the light spot fixing and returning international cricket to Pakistan shores. I like how the preparation for the CT has been given emphasis with warm-up games to allow for player acclimatisation (not being involved in IPL also allowed for this). So my message would be support Ashraf, he seems to be doing right for the cause!

Posted by   on (May 29, 2013, 0:03 GMT)

Why can't Pakistan stop mixing Cricket and Politics together. The timing of this couldn't have been worse then if they tried. I expect Nawaz Sharif to pick one of his relative to become the new chairman of the PCB.

Posted by imranmujtaba on (May 28, 2013, 21:49 GMT)

It was dubious process, how was he selected without proper engagement of all the key stakeholder? GOOD TO SEE HIM OFF, possibly he is better then his last 2 predecessors but Pak team didn't seem to have NO Agenda or STRATEGY FOR improvement. PCB selected a team for CT which can hardly win against Ireland. Try to teach captaincy to Misbah who will hardly last another season!?!? Anyway it was expected I am sure new change will bring good change as future parliament is real cricket lover !!!!

Posted by anah on (May 28, 2013, 20:54 GMT)

Well politics is very intricate in PCB as well as Pakistan. I have heard that the next PCB chairman will be Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, a close family member of Nawaz Sharif. Lets just hope things work out for the best of Pakistan

Posted by Kumail_Asadi on (May 28, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

VERY Sad to see controversy before Champion trophy. no courage but worries for Pak teams and that will result LOSS in CT.

Posted by MurtaMac on (May 28, 2013, 19:29 GMT)

what a shame! We finally have a good head of PCB in the last 2 decades and this happens. We as a nation are not content with things and constantly want change (for the worse). Thanks Zaka Ashraf, you tried your best!! You'll Never Walk Alone!!

Posted by   on (May 28, 2013, 18:27 GMT)

the most brave pcb recently i have seen. i am sad for zaka ashraf. but as the goverment changes so as pcb will. i hope the new pcb is not hamza shahbaz...

Posted by azurecharms on (May 28, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

Rashid Latif and other did the right thing to challenge Ashraf's election. If any cricket boards needs absolute transperency in it's affairs, its PCB because of all the past debacles! Sticking to rules and regulation will help Pakistan Team to grow and players will know that an upright and honest body is watching over them.

Posted by ThatsJustCricket on (May 28, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

Not sure if he was elected "properly" but he is, obviously, the best for the job right now...

Posted by drnaveed on (May 28, 2013, 14:47 GMT)

"so far so good" was mr Ashraf,he did his job sincerely ,as far as his efforts were to bring international cricket back to Pakistan ,and i think he still is the right man for this job,however ,if his selection was not correct as chairman PCB,than he should try to come through proper channel and elections , if it is in his hands any more ?.

Posted by muxa on (May 28, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

@ball.wall what has ipl to do with zaka ashraf p.s very sad to see a good person who was doing some good for pakistan cricket isnot allowed to continue by corrupt people totall agree with stark62 If Ashraf goes, then Pak cricketers must also revolt and stand by the best man, the PCB has had through out its history.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (May 28, 2013, 14:30 GMT)


The clauses 28, 29, 30 gave virtually no powers to the comitee and the regional boards to reject the nominations of the Patron (President). Further, clause 30 stated that if they fail to unanimously reject the nominees then the nominee will be deemed to be unanimously approved. This is farce and not election.

But what will be the end result of all this, remains to be seen.


Posted by   on (May 28, 2013, 14:29 GMT)

Its the 'Prime Rigister' in waiting's son who is eyeing the chairman PCB post. So better walk out yourself Mr Zaka, this is a pack of wolves we're talking about.

Posted by getsetgopk on (May 28, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

Just wait till the Sharif Brothers walk into the Prime Minister House! By that time, Zaka Ashraf would be very lucky if he finds himself in a courtroom and not in a prison cell. Talk about change, Pakistan hasn't seen such a thing in its entire history so why should one keep any sort of hope.

Posted by ball.wall on (May 28, 2013, 13:31 GMT)

Any thing is possible especially after IPL fixing saga !!!

Posted by AndyZaltzmannsHair on (May 28, 2013, 13:30 GMT)

@pwvadekar: I'd like to carefully remind you that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. I'd also like to point out that once again the ICC will have questions on its hands. That if Zaka is found guilty and stripped off his Chairmanship, why did the ICC give him the all clear? What were the ICC doing once again?

Posted by Stark62 on (May 28, 2013, 13:25 GMT)

The best thing to happen in Pak cricket, after several decades and what happens......other admins don't like the person!!

They are all greedy and saw the positives of Ashraf, hence they want someone, who will roll over for them.

If Ashraf goes, then Pak cricketers must also revolt and stand by the best man, the PCB has had through out its history.

Posted by LeftBrain on (May 28, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

Why it doesnt surprise me? If you connect all the dots, Zaka Ashraf is close to Asif Zardari, president of Pakistana and, who happens to be chairman of PPP as well. PPP lost general elections earlier this month and rival PMLN won the majority. Asif Zardari's tenure is ending in October and PMLN will "appoint" their own president. They will want to have their ally as PCB chief. 4 of the 5 major associations against Asjraf are in Punjab, stronghold of PMLN where they won almost all of the seats............. Hence Zaka Ashraf must go. And it is sad for Pakistan Cricket because he is a sensible person who is bringing good to Pakistan cricket.

Posted by   on (May 28, 2013, 13:09 GMT)

Remember there was no representation from major cricket regions (such as Lahore, Karachi, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Rawalpindi) in the governing board which elected Zaka Ashraf as PCB Chairman for four more years. So that was coming, Islamabad High Court has suspended him from working as PCB Chairman. Very right decision.

In short, Zaka Ashraf had selected a 10-member governing board and that governing board later selected him as PCB Chairman. What an election!

Posted by   on (May 28, 2013, 12:58 GMT)

i think he has been one of the best so far and you should not be changed for sure !

Posted by   on (May 28, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

Its a surprise. Anything can happen in Pakistan.

Posted by pvwadekar on (May 28, 2013, 12:39 GMT)

Regular service has resumed.Was wondering when things would go all pear shaped in PCB.

Posted by AndyZaltzmannsHair on (May 28, 2013, 12:34 GMT)

Uh oh. Oh well. Election problems. I actually like Zaka Ashraf he's done a good.job. But if there are irregularities then it must be investigated. Sadly nothing surprises me in world cricket anymore.

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
Umar FarooqClose
Country Fixtures Country Results
1st Test: Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Galle
Aug 6-10, 2014 (10:00 local | 04:30 GMT | 00:30 EDT | 23:30 CDT | 21:30 PDT)
2nd Test: Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (SSC)
Aug 14-18, 2014 (10:00 local | 04:30 GMT | 00:30 EDT | 23:30 CDT | 21:30 PDT)
TBA v Pakistanis at Moratuwa
Aug 20, 2014 (10:00 local | 04:30 GMT | 00:30 EDT | 23:30 CDT | 21:30 PDT)
1st ODI: Aus Women v Pak Women at Brisbane
Aug 21, 2014 (09:30 local | 23:30 GMT | 19:30 EDT | 18:30 CDT | 16:30 PDT)
2nd ODI: Aus Women v Pak Women at Brisbane
Aug 23, 2014 (09:30 local | 23:30 GMT | 19:30 EDT | 18:30 CDT | 16:30 PDT)
1st ODI: Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Hambantota
Aug 23, 2014 (10:00 local | 04:30 GMT | 00:30 EDT | 23:30 CDT | 21:30 PDT)
Complete fixtures » | Download Fixtures »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days
Sponsored Links

Why not you? Read and learn how!