Pakistan cricket: Butt out - new PCB chief pads up

Published: October 11, 2011
Zaka is President of Zarai Taraqiyati Bank and decision of his appointment was made in meeting with President Zardari. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Zaka is President of Zarai Taraqiyati Bank and decision of his appointment was made in meeting with President Zardari. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: Pakistan cricket followers finally let out a sigh of relief after Ijaz Butt, who completed his three-year tenure on Saturday, was understood to have been replaced as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman. The PCB’s chief patron President Zardari has apparently picked former ZTBL president Zaka Ashraf.

Although a formal notification from the President’s office is yet to be issued, Ashraf confirmed his appointment and told Aaj TV that his priority was to improve Pakistan cricket’s image after a series of scandals.

“I’ll work day and night to live up to the president’s expectations and pay back the confidence he’s placed in me,” said Ashraf before adding that he would select players on merit and try to improve relations with international boards.

Ashraf was a member of Pakistan Peoples Party Central Executive Committee when he was named ZTBL’s chief three years ago and is also a former chairman of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association, as well as a close friend of President Zardari. He hails from Bahawalpur, belonging to a traditional industrial and farming family. After passing out from Cadet College Petaro, Ashraf completed his bachelor’s degree and became part of the family business, the Ashraf Group of Industries.

Meanwhile, ZTBL’s press officer Israr Ahmed Kasana also confirmed the appointment. “The new chairman’s prime target is to revive our lost status,” Kasana told The Express Tribune.

His appointment follows weeks of speculation surrounding Butt’s replacement, ending his tumultuous stay in office, termed by many as the worst for Pakistan cricket.

(Read: Ijaz Butt: Closer to D-day)

During Butt’s tenure, Pakistan won the 2009 World Twenty20. However, the attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in 2009 and the spot-fixing saga, which was preceded by Butt labelling England’s cricketers as match-fixers, brought Pakistan cricket to its knees.

The appointment may also see the return of former captain Shahid Afridi to international cricket. “Ashraf is not a fan of controversies and will woo back players who can still contribute to Pakistan cricket,” said Kasana.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (59)

  • NJ
    Oct 11, 2011 - 6:57PM

    Hoping for the Best!


  • Pakistan
    Oct 11, 2011 - 7:01PM

    Does anybody knows this guys history? What kind of tenure would we be expecting from him?


  • khaaqi
    Oct 11, 2011 - 7:03PM

    no hope of better things from him


  • JJ
    Oct 11, 2011 - 7:42PM

    This is TRAGEDY of this country that who don’t know any thing about their duty THEY serve as DEPARTMENTAL HEAD. What is the Combination of“CRICKET AND BANK”?


  • Someone
    Oct 11, 2011 - 7:45PM

    “Express 24/7 correspondent Sohail Chaudhry reported that Ashraf was a close friend and a class fellow of President Zardari.”

    Why can’t the PCB chief be someone who is actually relevant to cricket?


  • Only Sane
    Oct 11, 2011 - 7:54PM

    Check out the mirror for truth..


  • CB Guy
    Oct 11, 2011 - 7:54PM

    may be some one who was actually a non-political administrator would have been a better idea. but then again, our country is run on a democratic dictatorship helped by sham democracy, so what can one hope for?

    Please vote carefully, we can not afford dynastic democrats.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Oct 11, 2011 - 8:27PM

    May be we should award and reward them with a doctoral degree in advance? Just like Malk for peace prize doctorate.


  • Antanu
    Oct 11, 2011 - 8:49PM

    what is the cinnection between pawar and cricket. Modi and IPL


  • pinky
    Oct 11, 2011 - 9:20PM

    totally great!! coz “zarat” and cricket are totally managed in the same way..


  • Khan
    Oct 11, 2011 - 9:34PM

    Another political appointment!! Zardari is rewarding this friends just like Musharraf. The ICC is right, Cricket Administration should be run by cricketers ,not by bankers,politicians or generals !!!!


  • Goran
    Oct 11, 2011 - 9:47PM

    Although expectations from Mr. Ashraf are not very high but he cannot possibly do a worse job than Ijaz Butt or will he? Time will tell.


  • Bokhari
    Oct 11, 2011 - 10:14PM

    Chairman should be a person , who have revolutionary idea , and who know is a good manager!
    Hoping for the Best!


  • Fatima Jaffery
    Oct 11, 2011 - 10:19PM

    Beside zarai bank he also owns sugar mill. I am sure he doesn’t even know anythin about cricket … they’re making money. from this side income make livin better for people who work under you.


  • Vaqar (United Kingdom)
    Oct 11, 2011 - 10:30PM

    One can only hope for the best! I am in no way supporting or opposing this appointment, as we have to wait and see.

    With regards to @JJ and @Khan observations regarding the PCB chief being a cricketer, I beg to disagree. This is a corporate management post and someone with a business background would be useful, if (and its a big IF) they work honestly.

    Can I just give you the example of David Collier, who is the Chief Executive of ECB, since October 2004 and is a business executive and not a cricketer, though he has managed County Clubs before?


  • Khizr
    Oct 11, 2011 - 10:37PM

    What was the criteria for this appointment? Is this President’s task that he is hiring or the Chairman PCB? Why can’t we define a process for PCB chairman selection / election and follow it to get the right poeple to lead Cricket in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Shafaaqat
    Oct 11, 2011 - 11:17PM

    I hope the controversies hovering over PAK cricket end with the end to his tenure. Fingers crossed!


  • Bilal
    Oct 11, 2011 - 11:24PM

    I think its the system, why not change PCB constitution and let a board of directors (in excess of 5 independent board members) to decide who should run the organization. I have nothing against any one nor I am favoring them. Point being you can’t blame them (Zaka Ashraf or Zardari Sahib) because its the constitution of PCB that allows the president of Pakistan to appoint someone directly.Recommend

  • Aqib Bhatti
    Oct 11, 2011 - 11:49PM

    I pray that this man proves best for Pakistan Cricket……but i am not hoping so.!!!!


  • Bilal
    Oct 12, 2011 - 12:17AM

    For one at least Butt sahibs controversy plagued regime is over. But I still wonder, as far as I can remember ICC passed a law that countries where a cricket board chairman is appointed (rather politically – directed mainly at PCB) would not be allowed to take part in international cricket. How does another appointment solves this problem? Our national sport already suffering a lot (Srilankan team incident and stupid terrorism problem), I guess President Zardari didn’t give a damn about Cricket as a national sport. Hopefully Zaka Ashraf will realize the problem and atleast try to fix it; by negotiating with ICC or by reforming PCB. We will have to wait and see.


  • Bilal
    Oct 12, 2011 - 12:21AM

    It doesn’t matter who run the organization as long as you get the job done in an ethical and moral way.So as long as you get the desired results it should not matter who runs the organization.


  • Jaani
    Oct 12, 2011 - 12:22AM

    ATLEAST BUTT IS HISTORY – Let’s savor the moment and hope for the best


  • farqaleet
    Oct 12, 2011 - 12:44AM

    yes he owns ASHRAF SUGAR MILL in bahawalpur. very strange that a miller has been appointed as chairman of pcb.


  • Junaid
    Oct 12, 2011 - 12:58AM

    Hahaha….Awesome!! Mojein lgi hui hein sub ki :D


  • Aftb Kenneth Wilson
    Oct 12, 2011 - 1:08AM

    It is like appointing a TRUCK DRIVER for the post of Helicopter Pilot. If political appointment was necessary then there were many eligible for this job. I am really disappointed.


  • Unbiased
    Oct 12, 2011 - 1:19AM

    Well said!!!! Totally agree with you.


  • Huma
    Oct 12, 2011 - 2:24AM

    zarai taraqiyati bank. agricultural bank=head of cricket board? as far as i can see hes prob qualified to overlook the preparation of pitches maybe?
    another topi drama. sad.


  • GetRidOfFeudalPolitics
    Oct 12, 2011 - 3:10AM

    we’re going to have greener pitches and lush outfields now


  • Anas
    Oct 12, 2011 - 4:49AM

    Dont worry he will soon leave when the new president Imran Khan will be elected


  • UR
    Oct 12, 2011 - 6:55AM

    Well, he has worked in a sugar mill. He can perhaps sweeten things in favor of Pakistan :)


  • Bilal
    Oct 12, 2011 - 7:00AM


    Do you think Imran Khan will get 2/3rd majority? really?


  • anybodyagree
    Oct 12, 2011 - 7:02AM

    dont u see the relavence . .!, he is closed friend of Zardari . . .!!!


  • Valerie Kaul
    Oct 12, 2011 - 8:10AM

    If Imran Khan would move into this position and run his charity hospitals as well he would do well…


  • Jawad
    Oct 12, 2011 - 8:12AM

    Zaka Ashraf is the most corrupt person in Pakistan. He destroyed the ZTBL and now he is going to destroy the PCB in a few week and it is a reality.


  • Raj
    Oct 12, 2011 - 8:21AM

    He looks very sincere to me ( opposed to Mr Butt) , let us wait and see his executive decision making…


  • Oct 12, 2011 - 8:25AM

    Three duties at once :o


  • sajid
    Oct 12, 2011 - 9:14AM

    If team win big tournamentz the new Chairman of PCB will announce 20 kg sugar to each player and for the coach 15 kg sugar.Moreover lunch and dinner will be serve with the special mixing of sugar…..lolz


  • sajid
    Oct 12, 2011 - 9:15AM

    20 kg sugar for each player in every month:))))


  • justice to be done
    Oct 12, 2011 - 9:57AM

    Who says there is no relevance of banking and agriculture with cricket ? well don’t we know huge transactions are now involved in the game which need to be managed and as far as agriculture sometimes we do have some grass on our wickets ;)


  • Ali Kazmi
    Oct 12, 2011 - 10:26AM

    Upcoming next:

    Ijazz ahmed appointed Governor State bank :P

    can be a hefty combination here;)


  • True Pakistani
    Oct 12, 2011 - 10:53AM

    what a co-incidence !! the former Chariman was Brother in Law (Bahnoi) of our Defense Minister and now the new-appointed is the Hum-Zulf (Saando) of same Minister …..


  • Haqqani
    Oct 12, 2011 - 11:03AM

    @Bilal: Since when Cricket became our National Sport?


  • Oct 12, 2011 - 11:19AM

    Surely these are the last days…………………….. End is near.Recommend

  • fairhope
    Oct 12, 2011 - 11:32AM


    MONEY !!! :)


  • anybodyagree
    Oct 12, 2011 - 1:19PM

    so they become diabetic . . .!!!!


  • anybodyagree
    Oct 12, 2011 - 1:22PM

    @True Pakistani:
    again the family affair . . . !!!! GOD SAVE PAKISTAN CRICKET


  • Big 1
    Oct 12, 2011 - 1:34PM

    since the day he born …..


  • Bilal
    Oct 12, 2011 - 9:27PM


    what is it then?


  • Taimur
    Oct 13, 2011 - 12:50AM

    the only merit this guy has is that he was the class fellow of the president of pakistan :P Recommend

  • Haqqani
    Oct 13, 2011 - 8:44AM

    @ bilal: our national sport is Hockey so before you start entertaining people with your expertise on the game get you facts right :)


  • haris
    Oct 13, 2011 - 12:09PM

    yes, True, are you feeling proud of having Sharad Pawar or Latesh Modi as chief of Cricketing Body?
    I am not Indian but my fellow Indian friends felt shame and they express their concern.


  • omg!
    Oct 13, 2011 - 2:50PM

    Yom – e – Nijaat


  • A Mehdi
    Oct 14, 2011 - 8:16PM

    He is brother of Bagum Ishrat Ashraf who is head of women wing of PML(N) and wife of Ch Jaffar Iqbal former deputy speaker of National Assambly during last PML(N) government. HE was chosen as the head of All Pakistan Sugar mills Association and own many of them.Recommend

  • Bilal
    Oct 14, 2011 - 10:18PM


    Mr Haqqani: thank you for correcting me, I might have over emphasized by using the words national sport but I was trying to make a point, hopefully you got that!


  • Haqqani
    Oct 15, 2011 - 12:57PM

    @ Bilal: i understand your passion for cricket since its the same for almost everyone in our region but lets just not forget our national sport at any point :)


  • Bilal
    Oct 16, 2011 - 12:37AM

    for argument sake yeah sure. …. good to know that you got my point :)


  • Sharjeel
    Oct 16, 2011 - 11:08PM

    I read that he used to be a flat mate of Zardari’s. This is blatant nepotism and needs to be stamped out. Furthermore the incumbent has no cricketing background. I’m just waiting for Imran Khan to become the next leader of Pakistan and then bring in new rules that will never allow the President to appoint a new chairman.


  • Oct 31, 2011 - 8:36AM

    Excellent article. I’m going through several these troubles.Recommend

  • Asad Hasan
    Nov 1, 2011 - 10:41AM

    What a shame; Mr. Zaka Ashraf has started off his TENURE AS BCP CHAIRMAN with an Ad showing his picture – congratulating the Pakistan HONGKONG Sixes Victory…he should realise he has had nothing to do with the win…..Recommend

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