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PCB chief Zaka Ashraf and IMC members try to bring PM Asif Zardari into confidence

PCB Chief Zaka Ashraf (in picture) has withheld all major decisions till his meeting with PM Asif Zardari
PCB Chief Zaka Ashraf (in picture) has withheld all major decisions till his meeting with PM Asif Zardari

Karachi: Jan 19, 2014

Zaka Ashraf, who has been reinstated as Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, and the members of Interim Management Committee (IMC) are running from pillar to post to get time with the Prime Minister, who is also patron in chief of the board.

While Ashraf told reporters in Lahore that he was hoping to get time from the Prime Minister on Monday or Tuesday, a reliable source aware of the developments in the board said that Najam Sethi, who headed the defunct IMC and one of its members, Zaheer Abbas had also asked for time from the PM’s secretariat.

“Both parties are trying to meet with Nawaz Sharif first so that they can get their viewpoint across to him,” the source told PTI.

Though a two-member divisional bench of the Islamabad High Court reinstated Ashraf after he was removed as Chairman of the board by another bench of the IHC last July, the source said both parties know eventually their future in the board will depend on what the Prime Minister wants to do.

“Ashraf knows that since he is a senior member of the Pakistan Peoples Party and was brought into the board by former President, Asif Zardari, he needs to get the support of the present Pakistan Muslim League government and the premier if he wants to stay on for the next four years in the board that is why he has asked for the meeting,” the source said.

On the other hand, Sethi and Zaheer are expected to meet with the Prime Minister earlier to apprise him of the cricket situation.

“Sethi was brought in as Chairman directly by the government as was the IMC, so they are hopeful they will get a sympathetic hearing from the Prime Minister,” the source added.

Analysts believe that Ashraf’s continuity in the board depends on the Prime Minister, who is a keen follower of the sport.

He is keen to carry on as Chairman and he has the advantage of having been restored by the IHC. He always has the option of approaching the court for redressal if the Prime Minister decides to use his powers as patron in chief and appoint an ad-hoc commitee which is allowed by the existing constitution.

A source in the board said this was the very reason Ashraf didn’t make any announcements about the new coach of the national team nor the chief selector after Saturday’s governing board meeting in Lahore.

“He also wants to take the premier into confidence before making the major announcements.”

Ashraf is also aware that his decision to release long serving legal advisor of the board, Tafazzul Rizvi from his contract immediately after resuming charge might not have gone down well with the government.

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