PCB to appeal against Islamabad HC order on Zaka Ashraf's election

A writ petition was filed by a former coach of the Army cricket team against the election of Zaka Ashraf as chairman of the PCB in May © AFP

Karachi: Jul 24, 2013

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday said it would file an appeal against the Islamabad High Court (IHC) judgment — which had set aside the election of Zaka Ashraf as board chairman — as it may result in a gridlock for the board and bring to standstill the board’s day to day functioning.

In a press statement, the PCB said it would be filing an intra-court appeal againts the IHC judgement which reflects finding on such points of law and facts and administration which were neither part of the pleading, nor were argued by any party before the court, and may potentially bring to standstill the day to day functioning of the PCB.

Uncertainty has prevailed in the cricket community and board since the IHC passed its judgment on a constitutional writ petition filed by a former coach of the Army cricket team against the election of Zaka Ashraf as chairman of the board in May.

“The Judgment of the learned single Judge may result in gridlock for PCB in matters such as electoral college and criteria for selection committees, specifically team selection for the tours of Zimbabwe, Singapore and South Africa (Home series), all of which are before end October,” the PCB statement said.

“Furthermore, the PCB needs to conclude arrangements for media broadcasting agreements related to its cricketing itinerary of PCB which has expired and for which tenders are required to be floated on urgent basis, failing which PCB will suffer colossal monetary losses,” the statement added.

The IHC in its detailed judgment softened its stance on the eligibility rules for the elections of the PCB chairman, removing the condition of the candidate being a graduate and a former First-Class or Test cricketer.

But the remaining judgement is strong worded and covers all matters including selection, adminsitration, finance and elections.

The IHC judgment also stripped the sitting PCB Chairman, Najam Sethi of his main powers and termed him as caretaker chairman until elections are held in 90 days time by the election commission of Pakistan.

The PCB statement also said that the IHC judgement also raises concerns with regard to ICC guidelines on non-intervention of government in the administrative affairs of the PCB in so far as it directs the federal government to appoint a DMG officer as Secretary of PCB and the same may be argued against directing the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold the elections in PCB.

“Also, the acting chairman appointed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan needs to effectively manage the affairs of PCB as noted above until election of a permanent Chairman, for which no clear direction has been given in the Judgment,” the statement added.

“Therefore the PCB is left with no other option but to appeal the said Judgment,” it said.