Pakistan news December 17, 2013

High Court reserves judgement in PCB case

The Islamabad High Court has reserved judgment in the motion brought by the PCB against the order passed by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on July 20, when the court overruled all major decisions taken by interim chairman Najam Sethi, asked for fresh elections and changes in the structure of the PCB, among other measures. A two-judge bench comprising Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan and Justice Noor-ul-Haq Qureshi heard the arguments on Tuesday and will issue an order later this week.

Siddiqui's original order had called for drastic changes in the PCB - it questioned the appointment of the selection committee as well as its financial and recruitment affairs - and brought the board's administration to a standstill. The judge had ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan to carry out elections for PCB chairman, directed the federal government to appoint a District Management Group (DMG) officer as the PCB secretary, and also reduced the powers of the president of Pakistan, making the Prime Minister the new patron of the PCB.

The court had earlier suspended the elected chairman Zaka Ashraf and questioned the legality of his election, calling the process "dubious" and "polluted". Sethi had been appointed interim chairman until his powers were also eventually clipped.

The PCB appealed against Siddiqui's judgment, claiming the election could not be carried out because electoral collage of regional associations was incomplete. They argued that the board has its own constitution, according to which chairman has been nominated by the patron, a practice that has been followed for decades.

Ashraf's lawyer said to the bench that the government of Pakistan and the ICC had endorsed Ashraf's election, and that he should be reinstated as PCB chairman.

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