Najam Sethi

Additional secretary of the DMG Group Aamir Tariq Zaman met Najam Sethi (above) with a government legal advisor to discuss the task of handing over pink slips to a section of employees © AFP

Lahore: Oct 2, 2013

Employees in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) braced themselves for a bitter battle after a top government official joined the board on Wednesday, with the specific task to hand over pink slips to a section of employees.

Additional secretary of the DMG Group Aamir Tariq Zaman met with the Chairman of the board, Najam Sethi today with a government legal advisor to discuss the task given to him.

Zaman was appointed as secretary of the PCB by the Inter-Provincial co-ordination mninistry on the orders of the Islamabad High Court.

The IHC in its detailed judgment on cricket affairs in July had spelt out:”In view of the matter, it is directed that the federal government may appoint some official of DMG Group, not below the rank of Additional Secretary, as the secretary of the PCB and all the officials in the PCB who have no utility be removed forthwith and amounts paid to them may be utilised for improving the cricket structure and the welfare of cricketers.”

Although the board believes that Zaman has come in to remove around 68 officials, who were appointed by previous chairman Zaka Ashraf, but many senior officials in the board are feeling uneasy that their jobs could also be on line now with the first official act of government inteference in PCB affairs.

And legal advisor, Irfanullah while speaking to the media after Sethi’s meeting with Zaman gave a clear indication that the new secretary’s responsiblities was just not confined to removing the excess employees.

“We are here to implement court orders and also to set right cricket affairs and clean up things,” Irfanullah said.

When asked what he meant by clean up things in the board he avoided commenting further on the issue.

But his comments were enough to confirm that in the coming days PCB employees could be facing a hard time.

Pakistan’s former Test captain and presently director general of cricket in the board, Javed Miandad perhaps mindful of this situation developing sent an open letter to the Dawn newspaper on Wednesday in which he offered to resign if it could save the jobs of lower grade employees.

But Irfanullah further complicated matters when he also said that employees with lower salary structure would not be removed by the new secretary.

Many see the appointment of a government secretary in the board as a direct challenge to the authority of the caretaker Chairman, who according to the IHC judgment will complete his term on October 18 which could turn out to be a very important day for Pakistan cricket.