Pakistan's women issue writ against PCB

Urooj Mumtaz is lifted up in celebration Getty Images

The Pakistan board has been served with a notice by the Lahore High Court over what is claimed to be its discriminatory attitude against the Pakistan Women's Cricket Control Association (PWCCA).

It stands accused of affiliating other cricket councils and even providing them financial assistance while ignoring the PWCCA, the pioneer of women's cricket in Pakistan and the sole governing body registered and recognised by the International Women's Cricket Council (IWCC) and the PCB. The PWCCA had moved a writ petition against the illegal formation of the PCB Women's Wing, insisting it had the right to run the affairs of women's cricket in Pakistan.

"The case though registered two years ago has not had many hearings due to the unrest within the judiciary since then," the PWCCA's barrister Zafarullah Khan told Dawn. "But with most things resolved in that department, the wheels are in motion now. PWCCA have a valid point and a good chance to win their case."

Zafarullah claimed precedence had been set by the PCB when they allowed the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) to affiliate with them. "Established in 1996, the PWCCA was a full IWCC member besides being recognised by the PCB, too, at the time," he said. "It should also have been affiliated with the PCB in accordance with the 2005 merger between the ICC and the IWCC which required all cricket boards of cricket-playing countries to set up a women's wing.

"Both the PCB and petitioners PWCCA are 'companies limited' and cannot take over each other but they can affiliate by mutual agreement."

A notice was subsequently issued by justice Omar Ata Bandial to the PCB over the allegations made by the PWCCA. "The date for the next hearing will be set after PCB's reply but we definitely made headway and may even be on the verge of a breakthrough here," said Zafarullah.

The PWCCA is headed by former national women's team skipper Shaiza Khan, who along with her sister Shermeen founded women's cricket in Pakistan in the 1990s. Spending money from their own pockets, the players held camps to find budding talent all over the country. Several players in the present national squad like former skipper Urooj Mumtaz, openers Nain Abidi and Sajida Shah, wicketkeeper Batool Fatima are just a few of their finds.

The national women's team under the PWCCA also played in the 1997 Women's World Cup in India. However, the PCB in 2005 joined hands with the Pakistan Women's Cricket Association (PWCA), a rival organisation set up by the current Women's Wing Chairperson Shireen Javed and her former consultant-adviser Azra Parveen, who were denied membership by the IWCC.