Pakistan news September 28, 2013

New PCB secretary appointed in compliance with HC order

The ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) in Pakistan has named Amir Tariq Zaman Khan as the PCB secretary - a role not defined in the PCB constitution - in compliance with the Islamabad High Court order. Khan is currently the additional secretary sport for the IPC and his role will be to cut down on the number of board employees, some of who may have been illegally appointed during Zaka Ashraf's tenure.

"The appointment is in compliance with the IHC orders and the notification has been issued earlier this week," Irfan Ullah Khan, the IPC legal advisor, told ESPNcricinfo. "His job will be retrench the unnecessary and illegally appointed employees in the PCB. The notification has also been issued to the PCB and we are due to visit the PCB next week."

The court in July ordered a comprehensive transformation in the functioning of the PCB, to be initiated with fresh elections. The 30-page judgement, asked for changes in the structure of the PCB, questioned the appointment of the selection committee, as well as its financial and recruitment affairs. The PCB is presently being run by an interim setup led by a Najam Sethi - who was given 90 days until October 18 with the objective of looking into the day-to-day affairs of the PCB, cooperating and ensuring the conduct of the election.

The appointment of Khan, a government grade 21 officer, is, however, in direct breach of the Woolf report approved by the ICC which recommended governance in cricket boards to be free of government and political interferences. Earlier Sethi was named the interim PCB chairman directly by the Prime Minister, though the move was enforced by the IHC.

The IHC observed that a large contingent in the PCB was being paid lucrative packages, with 68 employees being appointed unnecessarily during Ashraf's one year and eight months as the board chief. "In this view of the matter, it is directed that the federal government may appoint some official of the DMG group, not below the rank of additional secretary, as secretary of the PCB and all the officials in the PCB who are of no utility be removed forthwith and amounts paid to them may be utilised for improving the cricket structure and welfare of cricketers," read the IHC order.

The PCB has over 900 employees around the country including employees at the National Cricket Academy and the regional associations. The board has been facing financial crunch in wake of no international cricket in the country. The board recently provisionally approved a budget of approximately rupees 3 billion ($29 million approximately) with a deficit of rupees 500 million for the year 2013-14.

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