A new ten-member management committee, led by Zaka Ashraf, has taken charge of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for a four-month tenure. The committee’s first meeting was scheduled to be held on Thursday (July 6) at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. Zaka Ashraf, backed by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), succeeds Najam Sethi as the Chairman of the PCB Management Committee. The committee comprises ten members, including Kalim Ullah Khan, Ashafaq Akhtar, Mussadiq Islam, Azmat Parvez, Zaheer Abbas, Khurram Soomro, Khawaja Nadeem, Mustafa Ramday, and Zulfiqar Malik.
Controversy and legal challenges surround the leadership transition
The PCB’s leadership transition faced delays and legal challenges. The elections for the board chairman, initially scheduled for June 27, were postponed indefinitely due to writ petitions filed by the former management committee in various high courts. The government has replaced PCB election commissioner Ahmed Shehzad Farooq Rana with Supreme Court advocate Mahmood Iqbal Khakwani. The Baluchistan High Court accepted a plea from former PCB management committee member Gul Mohammad Kakar, leading to the rescheduling of the election hearing to July 17.
Implications for Pakistan’s cricket participation
Zaka Ashraf’s appointment as the chairman raises questions about Pakistan’s participation in the upcoming Asia Cup. Ashraf has previously rejected the ‘hybrid model’ proposed for the tournament and advocated for hosting it in Pakistan. The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has recognized the existing model, and any deviation by Pakistan may result in their exclusion from the competition. This, combined with Pakistan’s requests for neutral venues for World Cup matches, may strain relations with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the International Cricket Council (ICC). It’s worth noting that the last bilateral series between India and Pakistan in 2012 took place under Zaka Ashraf’s chairmanship.
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