LAHORE: The musical chairs at the helm of the Pakistan Cricket Board seem like they will continue, with the future of incumbent interim management commmittee chairman, Zaka Ashraf, hanging in the balance.
Mr Ashraf’s appointment has been questioned by the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination, which has declared it as a political one and sought advice from the principal secretary to the prime minister.
The government transitioned to a caretaker status on August 9, coinciding with the formal announcement of the upcoming elections with the Election Commission of Pakistan urging the removal of all political appointments to ensure a fair election.
In its letter to the principal secretary, a copy of which is available with Dawn, the IPC ministry has identified Mr Ashraf as one such political appointee.
In the letter, signed by its secretary Ahmed Hanif Orakzai, the IPC stated: “Two cases pertaining to Ministry of IPC are submitted for consideration and appropriate orders please: (i) Mr Zaka Ashraf (PPP), chairman, managing committee, Pakistan Cricket Board (ii) Peer Syed Ahmed Nawaz Shah (PPP), chairman, Federation Land Commission.”
Both those appointments were made by former IPC minister Ehsanur Rehman Mazari, who is from the Pakistan Peoples Party.
The PPP had formed a coalition government with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and with the IPC Ministry controlling sport in the country, Mr Ashraf was appointed on the recommendation of then Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of PML-N after strong demands by their coalition partners.
He was appointed as chairman of the interim management committee in July in place of Najam Sethi, who was brought in place of Ramiz Raja in December last year.
The interim committee’s initial appointment came with the mandate of holding fresh elections of the PCB.
Since taking over, Mr Ashraf had been working single-handedly and could not summon any meetings of the interim committee.
Published in Dawn, August 23th, 2023