PCB jolted by LHC snub

By Asif Sohail - August 24, 2019

PCB had drafted its new constitution in a mysterious way, the federal cabinet had approved it (first time in the history), the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination had notified it, the Board had also issued a press release highlighting its salient features and the British born MD Wasim Khan looked cheerful as he was in total control with huge powers but in a surprising turn of events, the Lahore High Court has suspended certain undemocratic amendments. The constitution of 2014 will remain intact till the final verdict.

LHC Judge Justice Shahid Mubeen signed the one-page decision, issuing a stay order till next date of hearing on Aug 27.

Only a couple of days after its notification the new constitution was challenged in the Court pleading that it was drafted on the basis of undemocratic system.

The PCB didn’t hold any conference or meetings of stakeholders, district cricket associations, and general body of the Board as per required by the ICC rules.

ScoreLine had already pointed the same in one of the articles which can be seen on the website.

The Court decision must have shocked PCB management, particularly Wasim Khan, for a while as it would be challenged in the Supreme Court where it might be reversed.

However, let me apprise two facts to the Honourable Judges of the SC who would possibly hear PCB appeal.

First: The Board for Control of Cricket in Pakistan (BCCP) nomenclature PCB, was formed by few passionate cricket organizers and cricketers from Lahore and Karachi who, in their private capacity, had approached Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah to become the Patron. Quaid accepted the offer.

Quaid was also an ardent cricketer. Recall a story that most of us had read in our English books during school days. The story goes as: “Quaid in his childhood saw some boys playing marbles in the street he asked them not to spoil their dresses and hands in mud and invited then to play cricket”.

It was not a constitutional obligation for Quaid and the Head of the State and was never documented in the constitution of Pakistan.

However, one fine morning disqualified Nawaz Sharif, former prime minister, immorally took this title from the Head of the State to satisfy his ego.

It is sad that Imran happily inherited it from his political enemy. Nawaz Sharif not only gulped national wealth but also damaged the democratic culture of PCB. His fanciful decision politicized PCB massively.

He appointed Najam Sethi as chairman of the Board and supported him through thick and thin, even during his Court battle against Zaka Ashraf.

During that time for the first time the secretary of the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination was appointed as the member of the BoG.

Though he had no right of vote but his presence in every BoG meeting ensured that government’s interest are adequately taken care of.

When our double PhD in cricket assumed the office of PM the Scoreline had urged upon him to return Patronship of the PCB to the Head of the State but he chose to ignore a sane advice. He is bent upon promoting the culture introduced by Nawaz in the Board.

Second: The district cricket associations are stakeholders of Pakistan Cricket Board and they form the National Assembly of the Board. How can non-representatives draft constitution of PCB?

Without the participation of district cricket associations no constitution can get the legal status. The indulgence of Courts in Sports matters spoils their credibility.

Remember a Supreme Court decision which dethroned a POA president but IOC interfered and saved him.

The ICC, world governing body on cricket, is very strict on government interference in the Game of Gentleman.

The ScoreLine had forewarned Imran Khan’s unnecessary interest in PCB affairs which is a cause of serious concern.

His interference can endanger our membership in the ICC. We all know Imran’s ego. During his playing days he had once kicked a child fan who wanted to get his autograph.

That kick subsequently caused him shin injury and for quite some time he was unable to bowl and played as a batsman in Test matches. The whole domestic format has been changed on his personal whim.

How unfortunate it is that a former cricketer has deprived many upcoming cricketers of their jobs. They earned their bread and butter from departmental cricket which has been stopped.

The departments which looked after a large number of cricketers and made them world class have been forced to close their cricket teams.

Where in civilized countries the decisions are taken to please one and only one person? This is only possible in the new Pakistan!

By Asif Sohail

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