Zaka axed, Sethi back as PCB chairman

Source:  Dawn.com Published in Sports on Tuesday, February 11, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday removed Zaka Ashraf as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, appointing an 11-member committee, headed by former interim PCB chief Najam Sethi, to run the affairs of the PCB.

Sharif, who is also patron-in-chief of the PCB, also appointed PCB ex-chairman Shaharyar Khan and former Test cricketers Iqbal Qasim and Zaheer Abbas as members of the committee.

According to Sethi, the committee, which has been tasked with drafting a new constitution within four months, will have "full powers."

Islamabad Cricket Association president Shakil Shaikh, who is also one of the members, said Ashraf was removed because of "mishandling Pakistan's case in the recent changes brought in the ICC."

Pakistan abstained from the voting in the ICC Board meeting last week in which the three biggest cricketing nations — India, Australia and England — got a majority of the powers in the sport's governing body, securing the required eight votes from the 10 full members.

Sri Lanka also abstained from voting on the grounds that it needed more time to look into the changes of the ICC setup.

Ashraf was restored last month by a divisional bench of the Islamabad High Court after he was suspended last year on grounds of not holding transparent elections for PCB chairman.

Shaikh said Ashraf's removal will "bode well" for the PCB.

"It's a good decision by the prime minister and now every decision will be made on merit," Shaikh told the Associated Press.

Shaikh also alleged that Ashraf was involved in bungling the finances of the PCB and failed to handle its administrative, management and international affairs.

Ashraf, however, remained defiant.

"I am still the chairman of the board and this notification has no bearing on my position,” Ashraf told a local news channel.

“This decision will only further weaken Pakistan's position in international cricket and I will soon decide on what legal recourse to take.”

Ashraf returned home early on Monday from Singapore after attending the ICC Board meeting. He said he had made several attempts to seek the prime minister's views on the changes in the ICC before going to Singapore, including writing a letter, but could not succeed in meeting with Sharif.

In some of the major changes since he was restored, Ashraf appointed former Test opening batsman Aamir Sohail as chief selector and was due to finalise Pakistan's batting coach, fielding coach and the head coach.

The coach-finding committee comprising former cricketers Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram and Intikhab Alam had shortlisted six candidates for the three vacant posts.


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