Zaka Ashraf likely to step down as PCB chairman

Zaka Ashraf is likely to be told by President Asif Ali Zardari to resign in the next few days following dismal show of Pakistan in ICC Champions Trophy 2013 © AFP

Karachi: Jun 13, 2013
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Zaka Ashraf might step down or could be told by President Asif Ali Zardari to resign in the next few days following the dismal show of the team in the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy 2013.
Although Zaka got elected as Chairman for a four-year term in May under the new provisions of the PCB constitution which have been challenged in the court in some petitions, a reliable source aware of the developments said he could resign soon.
“Ashraf has presently gone to England on a private visit to watch the Pakistan-India match on June 15. But frankly speaking a lot will depend on the outcome of the game. If Pakistan continues its poor form and loses, it is certainly curtains for the PCB chief,” the source told PTI.
The Islamabad High Court has already stopped Ashraf from working as PCB Chairman on a writ petition filed by the former coach of the Pakistan Army cricket team.
“There are indications that the new government led by Nawaz Sharif wants changes in the board with new people and what happens at the hearing on Thursday will be important for Ashraf’s future,” the source said.
The source disclosed that Ashraf himself had been contemplating stepping down after getting clear signals from the corridors of power that the new government didn’t support him.

“Even if he doesn’t step down himself, he could be advised by President Zardari in his capacity as chief patron to resign,” the source said.

Though the new constitution of the board discourages direct government interference in cricket affairs, the source said there were many legal ways through which the court could ask for the constitution to be reviewed again by the law ministry or order the process to elect the Chairman to be reviewed.

“Don’t forget that in some writ petitions presently under hearing in different high courts, many of the petitioners have taken the stance that the entire process held to have the Chairman elected is not constitutional and should be held again as the regional cricket associations were kept out of the process,” the source said.

Ashraf was initially appointed Chairman directly by President Zardari in October, 2011 under the old constitution.