Who is the new Godfather of PCB Mafia?

October 20, 2018 | By

In his maiden press briefing Ehsan Mani, the chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board, had elucidated his specific mandate to revamp the Board. He had vowed to introduce a new system of good governance in the PCB and to run it on professional lines.

However, after two months in the office he has not succeeded to give any expressive direction which indicates that the PCB has at last seen a new system of governance and it is now being run in transparent and professional way.

It is all about old wine in a new bottle. The whole Mafia comprising incompetent hugger-muggers, which has already damaged Pakistan cricket in last two decades, is still around and enjoying their jobs without contributing anything noteworthy.

After his guru Imran Khan assumed the office of the prime minister of Pakistan, Zakir Khan has taken the saddle of Godfather of the Mafia from Subhan Ahmad, the most competent intriguer in the PCB. Zakir roams in the corridors of the Gaddafi Stadium like a warrior who has conquered the world and is enjoying frequent UAE visits. After all he is director international cricket.

Zakir was suspended or relieved from his job by Shaharyar Khan (reasons unknown to us) but apparently for his sheer incompetence and unwanted interference in the Board affairs. But once Sethi read the writing on the wall and quit the PCB in disgrace, Zakir was surprisingly reinstated. How? The acting/provisional chairman of the PCB, who happens to be the chief election commissioner of the Board also, reinstated Zakir soon after Imran Khan’s oath. Does the present PCB constitution allow a makeshift chairman to restore a suspended employee of the Board?

I remember when I was involved in my efforts to bring burly Ijaz Butt in the PCB, the summary was at the table of the then caretaker prime minister for his approval but he left it for the forthcoming elected prime minister. During Zakir’s over 30 months suspension, the PCB was functioning as usual and nobody felt his absence seriously. What was the necessity of restoring a suspended employee?

Zakir has spent twenty years in the PCB not because he was an educated former Test cricketer (two Test matches) but because of his friendship with Imran Khan which he always exploited to safeguard his personal interests. He once took an American returned former chairman of the PCB to Imran Khan’s residence and cemented his (Zakir’s) position in the Board. He was also spotted during the PTI’s sit-in (dahrna) in Islamabad but the then chairman couldn’t dare to take disciplinary action against him for attending a political protest.

Can anyone tell us what Zakir has contributed towards Pakistan cricket in last two decades? His only contribution in the PCB is to arrange invitation passes for the showbiz people during international cricket matches in Pakistan. Does Zakir’s academic qualification fit his job? We all know that Imran Khan has vehemently struggled for rule of law, justice and merit in the country in last two decades of his political life. I am sure that a dignified and honest Imran Khan would not like to be remembered as Godfather of any incompetent but intriguer.

Since his taking the saddle of the PCB, Ehsan Mani has done two amazing things. He issued sad media statements indicating that he is in the PCB to protect the Mafia. He issued statement in favour of cunning Subhan and brought Haroon Rasheed back at the Notorious Cricketers’ Academy (NCA). Haroon is an exhaustive YES MAN who can only impress bosses with his superfluous presentations raising their optimism. Mani has also desired to amend the Board constitution to facilitate a chief executive officer who could share his over-burdened responsibilities. Amazing! I want to remind worthy chairman of the PCB that he should recall Shakil Shaikh also, the erstwhile member of the governing board to complete his team for introducing good governance in the PCB!

Does Mani wish to slice his powers for the love of cricket or his business commitments don’t allow him to fulfill his responsibility as chairman of the PCB. A Chartered Accountant by profession and long-time UK resident, Mani is preoccupied with his numerous tasks. He is on the board of a number of UK companies mostly working in the banking and real-estate sectors. He is also the chairman of Galiyat Development Authority (KPK), member of board of governors of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust and member of board of directors of Biafo Industries Ltd in Pakistan. Certainly, such a pre-occupied wizard can’t give full time to Pakistan cricket! But Imran is Imran who still tries to find a Vivian Richards in every Mansoor Akhtar!

Mani needs a full time CEO to look after PCB affairs. Since there is no post of CEO in the present PCB constitution, so he wants an amendment. However, it would be a cruel joke to amend the PCB constitution for personal gain. The PCB needs to get rid of its fake constitution. Get rid of dummy board of governors. Kick out nominated members of the governing board. Bring back the elected general body. Neither an amendment will bring professionalism in the governance of the PCB or a tangible change in Pakistan cricket. Ehsan Mani Sahib you need to draft a new constitution of the Board. How long every chairman would continue to amend the constitution for personal gains?

Asif Sohail

Asif Sohail is an author at ScoreLine and has written numerous articles published at ScoreLine.org.

He is a freelance sports journalist. Have worked in ‘The News International’ and a former Head of Sports at ‘Dunya News’. He Graduated from GC Lahore and completed his Masters from Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad.

You can connect him on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter

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