Governing Board takes PCB chief to task

LAHORE: The Governing Board members forced Chairman, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ijaz Butt to play on the back foot in a crucial meeting held at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) on Monday.

Well-informed sources told Dawn that the chairman wanted approval for the 2007-08 season’s budget but the members turned it down, asking him (the chairman) to produce all records of income and expenditures before taking the approval.

Ijaz will now produce the record in the next meeting on Nov 7.

Meanwhile, the PCB changed its audit company as the previous one had refused to audit PCB’s accounts for the 2007-08 season due to their incomplete financial records.

The members did not allow acting NCA and Game Development Director Haroon Rasheed to make his presentation over domestic structure when Javed Miandad, who was one of the members, raised an objection against it.

Miandad was of the view that as director general of the PCB, domestic cricket was his not Haroon’s domain. Most of the members supported Miandad’s objection.

According to sources, the members showed their annoyance with the chairman for having his close relative Mohammad Naeem as chief financial adviser.

They were unhappy with Naeem’s way of dealing and his abundant foreign tours. However, they extended his tenure till Nov 30 for the last time.

Sources also said that Ijaz would also try to include Naeem in the next Governing Board, which will be formed after the existing one will be dissolved on Nov 9.

It may be mentioned here that Ijaz had already recommended Naeem’s name as a Governing Board member some eight months ago to PCB’s Patron-in-Chief President Asif Ali Zardari.

Moreover, the members also grilled the PCB on having appointed umpires from local associations just to save money in the ongoing Quaid-i-Azam Trophy.

The PCB has to pay allowance to umpires, referees and scorers when they are called in from other cities. They were of the view that neutral umpires were being placed to supervise matches all over the world but the PCB had decided to appoint local umpires, who may take biased decisions.

The decision will be implemented in the ongoing matches of the Trophy.

Earlier, the PCB had dropped a point in the agenda of the meeting to discuss controversial statements made by some members of the Governing Board over Pakistan’s defeat in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy against New Zealand.

Sources also added that Dr Mohammad Ali Shah severely criticised ICC umpires for giving controversial decisions against Pakistan.

They were of the view that Ijaz, to some extent, had also violated the ICC rules by saying before the National Assembly Standing Committee on Sports that some of the umpires’ decisions were controversial.

The manager and associate manager of the national team had also spoken against the planning of the match with Shahid Afridi saying that Pakistan could not properly utilise the power-play.

Similarly, Shoaib Malik had also issued a statement that he would neither open the innings nor bat at number three.

The chairman finally decided to form a three-member committee comprising Javed Miandad, Shakil Sheikh (Islamabad) and Dr Mohammad Ali Shah (Karachi) to prepare a plan to be presented in the next meeting.