KARACHI, 13 JUNE: Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf might step down or could be told by President Asif Zardari to resign in the next few days following the dismal showing of the national team in the Champions Trophy tournament.
Although Ashraf had got elected as chairman for a four-year term in May in accordance with new provisions of the PCB constitution – subsequently challenged legally with petitions – a reliable source aware of the developments said that he could resign soon.
“Ashraf has gone to England on a private visit to watch the Pakistan-India match on 15 June. Frankly speaking, a lot will depend on the outcome of the game. If Pakistan’s poor form continues and they lose, it will certainly be curtains for the PCB chief,” the source said.
Islamabad High Court has already stopped Ashraf from working as PCB chairman following a writ petition filed by a former coach of the Pakistan army cricket team.
“There are indications that the new government, led by Nawaz Sharif, wants changes in the board so new people can come in and what happens at the hearing will be important to Ashraf’s future,” the source said.
The source disclosed that Ashraf had himself been contemplating stepping down after getting clear signals from the corridors of power that the new government did not support him. “Even if he doesn’t step down on his own, he could be advised by President Zardari in his capacity as chief patron of the PCB to resign,” the source said. Though the board’s new constitution discourages direct government interference in cricket affairs, the source said that there were many legal ways through which the court could ask for the constitution to be reviewed again by the law ministry or order the process to elect the chairman to be reviewed. “Don’t forget that some petitions now being dealt with say that the entire electoral process for picking a chairman is unconstitutional and a fresh poll should be held as, previously, regional cricket associations were kept out of it," the source said. Ashraf was initially appointed chairman directly by President Zardari in October 2011 under the PCB’s old constitution.
In another development, an inquiry committee formed by the PCB to probe allegations of sexual harassment made by some women players of the Multan region has submitted its report to higher authorities.
Earlier, five girls appeared on television, alleging that sexual favours had been sought from them by some officials and coaches of Multan Cricket Club during a training camp.
One of the girls said that she had been forced to give up playing after refusing to be victimised by a coach and an official in the camp.