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PCB yet to adopt new domestic system as BoGs tenure nears end

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LAHORE: While the tenure of the incumbent Board of Governors (BoGs) of the Pakistan Cricket, which is primarily composed of the members who represented the now-defunct regions and departments, is expiring on Aug 8 this year, the Board seems still far from replacing them with new members because the process to revamp the domestic system under the new PCB constitution that came into effecton Aug 19, 2019, remains at an initial stage.

Under the present scenario, there are chances that the PCB will continue to take advantage of Clause 49 of the new constitution concerning transitional period, which does not fix any time for the PCB to complete the implementation of the constitution. Therefore, it seems, the same BoG members of the defunct regions and departmental representatives will continue to function till the completion of the revamping operation.

According to the new constitution, four independent members, to be nominated by a nominating committee and three from the provincial cricket associations (CA) are to be part of the next BoG. However, neither any CA exists nor the names of four independent members have been announced so far. Besides them, two members to be appointed by the patron have already been inducted into the BoG while the CEO is also included as one of the members.

The PCB has disaffiliated 16 regions, while abolishing departmental cricket to replace domestic cricket with six CAs namely Central and Southern Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Northern and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, aiming to promote quality cricket instead of taking care of too many players, under the new constitution. However, so far the PCB has not made any visible progress for replacing the previous domestic system with the new one.

To form the new CAs, the biggest hindrance was caused by one of the newly-introduced clauses in the constitution, which binds the PCB to register all CAs under the Companies Act.

But the work to get those CAs registered is going on at a snail’s pace as only the association of Northern could be registered in 11 months, according to a PCB spokesman. Until the registration of the remaining five CAs, the PCB cannot move forward to implement its new domestic system, and for that the transitional period clause of the constitution is allowing it to avail unreasonable time.

Interestingly, according to the existing situation, no club across the country is affiliated with their zone/city or even with the PCB.

When contacted by Dawn, a PCB spokesman admitted on Wednesday there is delay but was quick to add that while the registration of the CAs was essential, it was a time consuming process. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the offices of the company registration were not fully operative and it was one of the reasons behind the delay.

“Now the PCB has registered the Northern under the Companies Act and hopefully the remaining CAs will also be registered by the end of the ongoing month,” the spokesman said.

“Once we complete this important phase of registration, a one-year interim set-up will be operational to start working on the domestic system from CAs, city cricket associations and then at club level by holding elections,” he elaborated.

Interestingly, the incumbent PCB regime came for a three-year period in September 2018, and two years have passed and it is yet to complete the implementation of the new constitution.

The spokesman said PCB chairman Ehsan Mani in his last meeting with PCB Patron, Prime Minister Imran Khan, discussed the hurdles in registration of the CAs under the Companies Act. “Hopefully, the matter concerned would now be managed on a fast pace to complete it by the end of July.”

To a question regarding the status of clubs in PCB’s books, the spokesman said no club across the country had the PCB affiliation at present since the introduction of the new constitution.

However, he added that the PCB had issued 38 NOCs to different clubs to hold private tournaments in 11 months’ time.

It may be mentioned here that the PCB, the game’s custodian in the country, had decided after introducing the new constitution last year, not to allow club cricket, unless an NOC is sought from it by the organisers.

Some key club owners in Lahore, on the condition of anonymity, have told Dawn that first the PCB and then the Covid-19 pandemic did not allow them to resume cricket, adding “still both the reasons are haunting club cricket”.

They further said that those problems were causing significant damage to cricket at the grassroots. Hundreds of coaches, trainers and other allied staff, besides cricketers had been away from the game since Aug 19 last year, and its detrimental effects would remain for a long time.

They also expressed their reservations over PCB’s decision of not allowing government officials or political persons to hold a major post in a club.

“Due to this restriction it will be very hard [for us] to generate funds to run club affairs, while the PCB is also not committing itself to help clubs financially,” regretted the club owners.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2020

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