PCB's interim committee selection by Nawaz Sharif gets mixed reactions in Pakistan

Najam Sethi was appointed as the chief of the interim committee © AFP

Karachi: Oct 15, 2013

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif‘s appointment of an interim management committee which took control of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) elicited a mixed reaction from former players and administrators.

Former players and administrators were divided in their views on whether these would help Pakistan cricket or prove otherwise in the long run.

“It is hard to say what will happen but if the Chairman of the committee, Najam Sethi works selflessly and honestly for betterment of Pakistan cricket we should get positive results,” former fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar said.

Akhtar said he was not sure whether the committee will be able to hold elections of regional cricket associations and the board in 90 days time.

“If this committee can’t hold the elections then its formation would become useless,” he said.

Akhtar hoped the next few days would clear the state of uncertainty over Pakistan cricket.

The developments today, made possible by a few amendments to the PCB constitution, also saw Nawaz Sharif become the chief patron of the board — a position held by the President until now.

PCB’s legal advisor, Tafazzul Rizvi said that the IMC had been formed under article 41 of the board constitution which also led to the PM taking over as chief patron.

“The committee has 90 days under the constitution to manage cricket affairs and pave the way for elections,” Rizvi told PTI.

He admitted that it would not be an easy task holding the elections since majority of the electoral college was not complete due to many affiliated regional units having pending court cases.

Former chief executive of the board, Arif Ali Khan Abbasi, however, said the 90 days time given to the IMC was too short.

“In the past also we have had ad-hoc committees but they had proper terms to do their job. As it is I don’t agree with this move because I think it is time we got over appointing ad-hoc set ups all the time,” he said.

Abbasi noted that until the board had a proper working general body with authority nothing would change.

Pakistan’s former captain, Rashid Latif said he was not surprised by this move as the Chairman of the board was facing an uncertain future with the deadline given by the Islamabad High Court approaching.

“They are some notable names on the IMC and I hope they take steps to put the PCB house in order and also improve cricket affairs,” he said.

Interestingly, Latif also filed a constitutional writ petition in the Sindh High Court few months back calling for a more democratic process in the board and the court reserved its judgment earlier this month.

One of the members of the IMC, Shaharyar Khan, who has remained Chairman of the board between 2003 and 2006, said he had been informed about his new task but didn’t know the details as yet.

“Things will be clear when the committee meets but yes they are certain areas that we need to do work on,” he said.

Shaharyar, who has remained foreign secretary and also high commissioner to India, said he would definitely put restoration of international cricket in Pakistan and bilateral ties with India on the top priority.

The other members of the committee include former test captain, Zaheer Abbas and former test cricketer, Haroon Rasheed and senior bureaucrat Naveed Cheema who was also manager of the national team until recently.