Pakistan news

Islamabad High Court upholds Zaka Ashraf suspension

Umar Farooq

June 13, 2013

Comments: 12 | Text size: A | A

PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf talks to the press, Karachi, January 10, 2012
Zaka Ashraf was suspended as the PCB chairman by the Islamabad High Court last month © AFP

The Islamabad High Court has upheld the suspension of Zaka Ashraf and ordered the Pakistan inter-provincial coordination committee to name an interim PCB chairman to represent the board in the ICC annual conference in London later this month. The next hearing on the matter will be on June 19.

The court, at its initial hearing last month, suspended Ashraf from "exercising his power within his incumbency" due to what it called the "dubious" and "polluted" process to elect him. It was responding to a petition filed by a former official of the Rawalpindi Cricket Association against the Pakistan board's elections that were held in May, through which Ashraf was elected to a four-year term as chairman.

The PCB lawyer argued against the suspension order, saying that Ashraf needed to represent the PCB at the ICC annual conference, but the court turned down the request. "In the peculiar circumstances, the inter-provincial coordination committee is directed to appoint some acting chairman [of the] PCB, fully qualified to be appointed as chairman, till final disposal of instant writ petition, with the authority to attend forthcoming meeting of the ICC so Pakistan may be represented in the meeting," the judge said.

However, bringing in an interim chairman will not be a straightforward matter. The PCB, being an autonomous body, isn't regulated by the government and is directly linked to the president of Pakistan, the patron of the board.

The PCB constitution states that, "(i) during the absence of chairman for the period of more than 45 days or in the event the chairman tender his resignation or in case of his death or in the event of the office of the chairman falling vacant for any other reason, the board of governors may elect and appoint an acting chairman from amongst its members, who may only have limited powers during the absence or till the appointment of the chairman; (ii) the chairman during his leave from office or otherwise, may delegate any of his power, in writing to any other member of the board of governors or the chief operating officer."

Given the court's order, there is no procedure defined in the board's constitution to appoint a chairman through the inter-provincial coordination committee.

Ashraf was elected in the first week of May - the first election of a PCB chairman - under the new board constitution that replaced the system of appointing the chairman by the patron. The process was conducted without any prior announcement, the PCB revealing Ashraf's appointment through a press release, and Ashraf's election was challenged in three different courts in the country.

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

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Posted by dmqi on (June 19, 2013, 12:26 GMT)

I wish the court would dismantle all associated with PCB and make a fresh start. This board is old and poor in activities. New and fresh blood is very much needed.

Posted by   on (June 14, 2013, 8:02 GMT)

guys, it has nothing to do with CT.

there was basic problem in the election process. they never involved gross root level, regional association. just forwarded 2 names in board meeting and those board of govrnor elected 1 of the 2. where as true spirit would have been to involve regional associations and chairman coming by winning elections.

Posted by PlayfromDallas on (June 14, 2013, 1:26 GMT)

How in the world ICC approved four years term of Zaka Ashraf as constitutional? Where as High Court of Pakistan suspended Zaka Ashraf's term as unconstitutional and taken all the power from him to handle cricket affairs in Pakistan?

Posted by Jawed_Saleem on (June 13, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

After champions trophy debacle ( Pakistani batting ), along with Zaka Ashraf all the think tanks, coaches, selection committee and others should have resigned by now. The court should take note and ensure that merit should be the only criteria while personnel and players are selected in PCB and team.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (June 13, 2013, 10:45 GMT)

Fantastic news. Great. After looking at the team that Zaka & Iqbal Qasim have sent to the Champions Trophy, it is good that Zaka remains suspended. Now the next obvious thing that should follow is that Iqbal Qasim, who is Zaka's handpicked chief selector should also be suspended, othewise Zaka will keep doing everything trough Qasim.

Atleast something in Pakistan Cricket is moving in the right direction.


Posted by avmd on (June 13, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

Zaka had to go, his was purely a political appointment. He never knew anything about cricket and none of the past cricketer felt easy working with him. He was able to convince some of them "working" for him , while actually he was making decision in selection and all other affairs, no wonder selection of the team has been so illogical when Ahmed Shezad is sitting in Pakistan and Farhat is playing and many such action taken by Zaka. Thank God he is gone.

Posted by   on (June 13, 2013, 9:54 GMT)

We should respect court's decision. PCB is still not working on merit. Those who were working 10 years ago, are still working on different posts. Zaka Ashraf said announced many things such as revival of cricket in Pakistan, selection on merit, cricket ground in Islamabad but not did one of these things. He was appointed by President of Pakistan, so how can we expect a fair election by him. There are many other controversial decisions taken by him such as replacement of Mohsin Khan as coach when team whitewashed england in 3-match test series in UAE.

Posted by   on (June 13, 2013, 9:35 GMT)

Its good to see that Supreme Court is taking it serios.

Posted by   on (June 13, 2013, 9:27 GMT)

It's high time Pakistan shows some democracy. If Pakistan cricket is in the stage it is today this had been the probloems in the past. Look at the selection of the Champions Trophy. It was a joke to leave players like Umar Akmal and others. No wonder they cannot bat and have no game plan. Pakistan is a good side without political interference. Let's hope for a better future. Pakistan Zindabad

Posted by RaadQ on (June 13, 2013, 9:00 GMT)

Bad news for Pakistani cricket fans, Zaka was instrumental in helping PCB and the team stay afloat after the stop fixing and international ban crisis. I hope he returns one way or another.

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