KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Zaka Ashraf is trying his utmost to convinced people that his election to office for a four-year term is transparent, but his statements received a barrage of criticism as he was grilled by reporters in Lahore yesterday.
Ashraf became PCB’s first elected chairman on Wednesday, a development that was followed by widespread criticism and questions surrounding the whole process, described by most as ‘not a transparent one’.
In response, the PCB chief held a press conference yesterday in hopes of clarifying his election during the first Board of Governors meeting held under the new constitution.
However, those who were present at the press conference said that they had ‘never seen Ashraf so nervous as he was finding it hard to come up with logical answers’. He was often found falling short of words as he tried defending the election and the constitution. In addition, he was looking towards PCB Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmed and Director General Javed Miandad whenever a tough question was thrown at him.
There had been reservations about the constitution already with former players terming it a ‘modified document’ to facilitate the current chairman and continue the process of patron nominating the PCB chairman in a different manner.
When asked why the PCB did not inform the media about the election a day before and that his election is a dubious one, Ashraf said there was nothing ‘unconstitutional’ about it.
“The process of my election was transparent,” Ashraf told reporters. “The new constitution of the cricket body was drafted in line with rules of the International Cricket Council (ICC). The constitution was put into effect after getting approval from the ICC and the government. After becoming the first elected PCB chairman, I am under heavy responsibility to play my due role in a more effective way for giving new dimensions to Pakistan cricket.”
He also replied to a volley of queries related to different regional associations challenging his election in the court of law, saying, “Let the court decide it as it is not a big issue.”
Ashraf also elaborated the clauses and paragraphs of the PCB constitution that are in line with the constitution of the ICC, adding that the sport’s world governing body was satisfied with the board’s progress. “The ICC has congratulated the PCB for adopting a new constitution and we’re satisfied that we have avoided a possible sanction against the PCB.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th, 2013.