Zaka Ashraf returns to power in the PCB © AFP
Karachi: May 17, 2014
Pakistan cricket went into another spin on Saturday as Islamabad High Court once again restored Zaka Ashraf as chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), setting aside an order of the government issued in February which had appointed a management committee to run the game in the country.
This is the second time that the IHC has reinstated Ashraf as the PCB chief. In January also, it had restored him to the top post while ruling on petitions filed on the issue.
The IHC gave its decision on a petition that challenged Ashraf’s sacking by the government in February due to which Najam Sethi took over as head of the PCB with the 12-member management committee.
Justice Noor Ul Haq termed Ashraf’s removal last February illegal, besides questioning the formation of the management committee that worked under Sethi’s chairmanship.
The IHC declared invalid the notification issued on February 10 after the Prime Minister appointed the interim committee to run the affairs of the Board. The court ruling also disqualified Najam Sethi as chief of the PCB.
The legal advisor of the Board, Tafazzul Rizvi told PTI that they had also come to know through media reports about the IHC decision.
“What we know is that a judgement has been announced and we await a detailed copy of the judgement after which we can say anything on this. But suffice to say court’s decision will be respected,” Rizvi said.
A reliable source in the Board said that today’s ruling had caught everyone by surprise.
“We knew that the petitions challenging the government order and Ashraf’s sacking were to be heard on May 20. Today the court was hearing a petition filed by some employees dismissed by the Board recently,” the source added.
He said there were four petitions pending at the IHC against Najam Sethi and the government order and in one of them Ashraf himself was a petitioner. Besides reinstating Ashraf, the court has also reinstated 38 employees who were recently sacked by the PCB.
Ironically, the IHC judgement came just as Sethi chaired a meeting of the management committee at the PCB headquarters in Lahore on Saturday.