Change is inevitable, sooner or later nature will take its course and before you know it change will hit you in your face. Who would have thought that party that had one seat in 2002 will win elections in 2018 and tread on a program of change, that it had promised the nation for last 22 years. Whilst change is inevitable, to make it happen you need grit! I was part of it in 2007, when Dr. Nasim Ashraf was nominated as Chairman PCB in early 2007.
He called me late on February night to book a flight to accompany him to Lahore, where he was to take a charge as Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board. It was an early morning flight from Islamabad, a smoker that I am, I was not fasting and he was, well my pretention was quite convincing. His first instructions or should I say aspiration was to turn around PCB and transform it into the way MNI is managed. I took that to heart and I did my best to do that till my last working day at PCB.
I will spare you with details of what transpired the first day or the days that followed; few months later we had hired a Financial Consultant and an HR Consultant to advise us how to restructure PCB on corporate lines, in terms of Organizational Structure, existing manpower and their suitability and Financial Systems.
Let us fast forward, because I only have page to my credit. Well HR Consultants submitted their reports and so did the Finance specialists. I will address the HR Consultants vis-à-vis their HR suitability later, but based on their recommendations, I established three departments, HR, Procurement, and Material Management. I had spent about three months in PCB and it had come to my attention that the biggest leakages were in Materials Department. Every year, PCB spends a lot of money to carry out Regional Tournaments, Club and District events.
To my surprise PCB financed these events but the money was sent to Regional Secretaries personal accounts to organize these events. Secondly, I found out that PCB doles out large sums of money to send cricket gear for Schools and Districts, every year, amounting in millions without any accountability. I apprised Dr. Nasim Ashraf and our CFO at the time and we agreed on a strategy.
First up, we advertised for the positions of Regional Stores and Accounts Officer. Whilst we waited for, our CFO managed to open twelve accounts in the Regions. It was a joint account. PCB Regional Accounts Officer and Regional Secretary were co-signatories. All payments to be made to club, and regional cricketers were to be disbursed by Regional Accounts Officer.
In the same vein, Regional Store Officer was entrusted to ensure that all material purchased during a Regional Match is documented in inventory and he was held responsible for its disposition. Similarly, the Regional Store Officer was entrusted with Procurement to undertake according to PEPRA rules. At the time it was enacted, it was widely appreciated, but it remains a fact, that it did not go well with Regional Presidents, especially that of Islamabad and Abbottabad. They had no choice but to accept it at the time but as soon as the Chairmanship was replaced, these gentlemen got on to it!
Bombing of Hiroshima may have been the biggest tragedy of modern time, but appointment of Ejaz Butt as Chairman PCB is worse than Holocaust. This imbecile besides terminating the best corporate team, PCB has ever had, undid the Regional Stores and Accounts setup, thus facilitating Regional Presidents and Secretaries to skim off players Travelling and Daily Allowance but expropriate capital purchases during the so called Regional and Divisional Matches, all because the Regional President from Islamabad was not for it. Mr. Chairman.
PCB donates millions of Rupees worth of equipment to schools, clubs and districts every year. I made it sure that it that equipment went to our Regional Store Officer who would ensure that equipment designated for school/club A goes to A and not C. I am sure that system is gone because Regional Store Officers are no longer there.
My last two cents on this topic; I was summoned by Senate Committee on Sports, amongst other things, I testified that Ejaz Butt had committed an atrocity by firing those private sector employees whom I had encouraged to join PCB despite their apprehensions. The Committee, chaired by the then Senator Anver Baig the Committee unanimously voted to reinstate the terminated Regional Officer, but that never happened
Having said that, let us talk about the HR consultants who submitted their report in March. They recommended to let go around 80 employees, who were either 60 years or above, or their skill sets did not meet the requirements of the position that they were holding, or their education did not match with the position they were then holding.
Of the eighty people there was only one in Managerial cadre that was recommended to be terminated. It was that of Zakir Khan, who is marginally a BA and can barely write two paras of English without seeking help from the current, the then, whatever
To my surprise Zakir Khan has been nominated for PSL Chairman by, PCB Chairman elect, and Prime Minister elect, what gives sir? He is an imbecile, I have worked with him! His only qualification is satiating someone’s cardinal desires. Is that what Naya Pakistan is all about? I travelled from Karachi to Lahore to vote for Aleem Khan at my own expense, and I voted for him this time around, is this about change or is it?