Pakistan news July 22, 2014

New PCB constitution retains chairman's power

The Pakistan Cricket Board's constitution has been rewritten, changing the structure of the governing board and making the appointment of the chairman more democratic. The caretaker set-up, due in seven days, will implement the new constitution and hold the election for the chairman. This is the fourth constitution since 1995 and the second in the past year.

According to the 27-page constitution, the Prime Minister of the country shall be the chief patron of the board and may give the PCB "general policy directions". Historically, the President of Pakistan has been the patron-in-chief and has been appointing the chairman directly. The post of chairman still holds significant value though the board of governors (BoG) will now elect one from among its ten members.

Any member within the board can be eligible only if he holds a bachelor degree, is a citizen of Pakistan, has no conviction of any offence involving moral turpitude, and has never been adjudged insolvent by competent court of law. One can't hold the office if one is incapable of discharging one's functions for reasons of physical or mental incapability.

The eligibility of the chairman had never been well defined in past constitutions. The new constitution has not only strengthened the BoG but also made it more accountable and more transparent. Though the chairman will be elected for tenure of three years the BoG can remove him with a no-confidence vote against him. Otherwise, the chairman shall be eligible for re-election for one further term of three years but will not be entitled for the third term.

The PCB has been criticised in the past because its constitution allowed the chairman near-dictatorial powers. The amended constitution maintains that status quo as the elected chairman can control and oversee income and expenditure, constitute the selection committee, make appointments including the heads of such committees, the captains, vice-captains of the national cricket teams (men and women) and hold power for final approval and finalise cricket teams picked by the selection committees.

The composition of the BoG was also restructured, reducing the members from 14 to 10. The body will include four regional representations (top four teams from the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy), four representatives of services organizations (top four department teams) and two members to be nominated by the patron in his discretion. The federal secretary of the ministry of inter-provincial coordination or any other officer nominated by him shall be an ex officio, non-voting 11th member. The term of each member of the BoG is three years - equivalent to one term of the chairman in a bid to induce continuity in the set-up.

The new constitution saw an increase of regional associations from 15 to 16, with full status to Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The constitution offered plans for grassroots cricket. Regional associations will be handed a model constitution and allowed to grow and build their capacity. The regional associations may receive annual funds from the board but the constitution encouraged them to generate money through their own efforts for their utilization and for onward transmission to the district/zonal and city associations.

"The Regional Cricket Associations shall ensure proper and transparent application of the funds and shall provide audited accounts thereof to the Board otherwise the future grant for the said Region may be withheld," the constitution said.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson