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Tenure of Sethi-led PCB management committee likely to be extended

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LAHORE: While elections in seven of the 16 regions of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are yet to be held, the tenure of the Interim Management Committee headed by Najam Sethi is most likely to be extended by two months.

The four-month tenure of the said committee, constituted by Prime Minister and PCB patron Shehbaz Sharif on Dec 21 last year, expires tomorrow.

The committee was formed in order to restore the 2014 PCB Constitution under which regional and departmental cricket could be restored.

The 2014 Constitution was dissolved by former prime minister and patron Imran Khan in 2019 for introducing province-based cricket which excluded departments, a move which rendered several cricketers, coaches and other game-related personnel across the country jobless.

During the past four years, the PCB first under Ehsan Mani and then Ramiz Raja could not fully implement the constitution of 2019 before PM Shehbaz restored the 2014 constitution after a change in the federal government in April last year.

To streamline the affairs under the 2014 Constitution, two mistakes, however, were made in forming the Interim Management Committee by the current PCB patron.

While Article 38, Clause 3 of the 2014 Constitution states that the Interim Management Committee should not consist of more than 11 members, the committee initially comprised 13 members.

When two of the 13 members, Arif Saeed and former Pakistan women’s captain Sana Mir, withdrew their names from the committee no one was included to replace them as the required 11 members were completed.

However, later another member of the committee, former Test cricketer Haroon Rasheed, also resigned to take charge as the chairman of the national selection committee.

Interestingly, he after a while reversed the decision as according to the PCB there was no conflict of interest for Haroon in performing the two jobs.

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, who also worked as interim chief selector for the home series against New Zealand early this year, later resigned as member of the Interim Management Committee. As a result, Malik Zulfiqar from Sialkot region was inducted into the committee to keep the required number of members intact.

There was another mistake. The same clause of the 2014 Constitution asks the patron to form the (interim) committee for six months which could be extended under the prevailing circumstances. However, the committee was made for 120 days.

A PCB official, in spite of this, played down the entire matter.

“It is not a big issue as the [PCB] patron is being asked to extend the tenure [of the Interim Management Committee] for two months to complete the elections in all 16 regions. As 18 departments have also restored their cricket teams and after holding the elections in remaining seven regions, a new Board of Governors (BoG) will be formed to take charge from the [interim] management committee to elect its [PCB] chairman for the next three years,” the PCB official told Dawn.

In the BoG, four elected presidents from the regions and as many nominated representatives of the departments have to work in rotation.

A delay in the appointment of the chief election commissioner, which was made on March 3 by the patron, is also one of the main causes of the delay in elections from districts to regions.

Surprisingly, on the PCB website, one noticed, nobody has bothered to exclude the names of the Interim Management Committee members who have left i.e. Shahid Afridi, Sana and Arif.

And the name of Malik Zulfiqar as one of the committee members is yet to be mentioned on the website.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2023

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