KARACHI: It was only a day after the national team’s arrival in England for the ICC Champions Trophy that the country’s cricket sunk into turmoil, with the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordering the suspension of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Zaka Ashraf.
The court orders came as a result of a petition filed by a former regional official questioning the election of Ashraf on May 8.
Following the courts order, Ashraf stopped working as the PCB chairman.
The Board of Governors (BoG) decided to postpone the Annual General Meeting that Ashraf was attending in Karachi as well as a scheduled BoG meeting until further notice.
Ashraf confirmed to The Express Tribune that he had distanced himself from the PCB affairs.
“The decision to postpone the meetings was taken by BoG members,” said Ashraf. “I wasn’t a part of it due to the court orders. Our legal experts will examine the case and decide the future course of action.”
‘Court not guided properly’
PCB’s legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi said the board will defend the case.
“Full facts were not given to the honourable court in the petition,” said Rizvi. “We will defend the case and will apprise the court on the constitution which was vetted by the government and the International Cricket Council (ICC).”
Ashraf became the first elected chairman after the implementation of the new constitution in accordance with ICC guidelines to end undue government intervention.
Five regional associations and as many departments have been given voting rights under the new constitution with new regions Larkana and Dera Murad Jamali taking part in the election. However, there was no representation from Punjab and Karachi, the largest province and city respectively, triggering protests from the associations.
The board is also facing two more petitions filed by Faisalabad and Sialkot regions and one from former wicket-keeper Rashid Latif against the chairman’s election.
Regional associations revolt against Ashraf
Regional associations that were not a part of the electoral process for the election of PCB chairman announced to intensify their campaign for the removal of Ashraf at a joint press conference in Lahore yesterday.
The representatives from Lahore, Karachi, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Multan, Abbottabad and Rawalpindi urged the suspended PCB chairman to resign.
“The new constitution is undemocratic,” said the head of Multan region Mian Mohammad Munir.
“The election was flawed and it all happened under the so-called democratic constitution. There are many glitches in the constitution itself and our prime demand is to make amendments in it.
“Secondly, we want Ashraf out as the PCB chairman and then a re-election for the chairman’s post. We welcome the court’s orders and will continue to fight against this election legally until we succeed.”
The PCB later imposed an ad-hoc system on the associations who had revolted after being snubbed from participation in the electoral process of Ashraf.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2013.