The recent statement from the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Giles Clarke about Pakistan cricket came as a complete surprise to me and was a reflection of how naive and biased the ECB chairman can be. His predecessors would be astonished at the way he had interfered in the internal affairs of Pakistan cricket and, in fact, sent a veiled warning to the courts here.

The statement from Mr Clarke, which appeared in a section of press including Dawn on Sept 12, was indicative of his arrogance and was seemingly a bid to impede the efforts to put Pakistan cricket on a democratic path.

In his statement, issued from London, Mr Clarke had said: “At the ICC and Pakistan Task Team (PTT) we are concerned that [Pakistan’s] judicial system should not be used to derail the important improvement in PCB’s governance in recent times and the PCB must be allowed to manage its [day-to-day] affairs independently.

“Otherwise, the ICC and PTT will seek to help Pakistan cricket, which is a very integral part of world cricket. We could move to create an environment in which the administrators can function in pursuance of the ICC constitution without any outside interference,” said Clarke.

Now I believe this tantamounts to an attempt to influence the petitions pending in the court of law as well as the forthcoming PCB elections. Perhaps, his remarks were aimed at sending a signal here in Pakistan that unconstitutional powers should be given to the existing caretaker set-up in the PCB. After all, whatever the court has done so far and is doing, is in accordance with the constitution of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

In the news item, Clarke was quoted as a former head of the [now defunct] Pakistan Task Team (PTT). For those who don’t know, this was the task force constituted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in 2009.

The task of the PTT was to help the poorly managed PCB to govern in a better manner as well as to bring back Pakistan to a position where it could host international matches again.

After three years, the PTT was disbanded with no results to show on their part other than a few documents and SOPs. The report, if there was one, must surely have been thick and heavy but surely quite useless. I say this because there is no visible impact of PTT actions (if any) on Pakistan cricket and the international cricket teams are still shying away from touring this country.

Even the England team which is governed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), of which Mr Clarke is the chairman, refused to tour Pakistan last year and played in the UAE instead. That is enough to gauge the failure on the part of the PTT, led by none other than Mr Giles Clarke.

Here, I would like to remind you about the ideology of the ICC. The apex cricket governing body wants a democratic set-up in all the member countries and there is nothing wrong with that. But I would like to know if before commenting on the judicial proceedings in Pakistan, did Mr Clarke bother to investigate the manner in which the recent PCB elections were held a few weeks ago? How could the ICC approve the sham procedures that were adopted to get Zaka Ashraf elected as the Board chairman?

Also, by poking their nose into Pakistan’s internal affairs, aren’t these officials giving an impression that they know things much better than the honourable judges of Pakistan?

It is clear that the ICC and the ECB wanted this current process of ‘selecting’ the PCB chairman to continue because, not only did they approve the dubious elections, they are now hinting that the PCB should be left alone to make its own decisions without taking an advice from the judiciary.

What surprised me most was the fact that the ECB chairman commented on the Pakistan cricket scenario rather than the ICC. England is just another member of the ICC like Pakistan and they have no right to publicly comment on the internal affairs of a fellow member board.

Secondly, the court should also seek an explanation why the PCB hasn’t contradicted the statement of the ECB chairman despite passage of five days, or issued a letter asking why Clarke had interfered in the internal affairs of a fellow ICC member.

I would like to ask Mr Clarke why he chose this juncture to issue such a statement after meeting with the caretaker PCB chairman. The court judgment came almost a month ago, so why didn’t Mr Clarke react at the time of that judgment. What is the reason for this very late realisation that the judiciary should not be allowed to derail the system?

The writer is a former Pakistan captain

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Comments (33)

Rana
September 21, 2013 1:56 pm

The truth is Giles Clarke and other Englishmen have never gotten over the humiliation of the '92 world cup final at the hands of Imran Khans Pakistan side who were thought to be a minor team back then and the English never will!

Please wake up Pakistan team and have some honour (you owe it to yourselves and your country)!

HK
September 21, 2013 4:28 pm

It seems over the past few years Pakistan are taking every bit of suggestions and criticism too seriously. Regardless of what Giles Clarke has to say the PCB is run by PPP or now PMNL. You guys have to get your house in order before crying who is saying what. You are weak, so concentrate on getting stronger internally before poking nose outside.

Ali Vazir
September 21, 2013 6:12 pm

Brother Rashid Latif, with due respect that you rightly deserve as a true performer, the courts in Pakistan are nothing but kangaroo courts. Thousands are murdered, hundreds of army and law enforcers are murdered by terrorists, the ZIyarat residency being burnt down, hundreds of schools blasted by bombs, but the court could only seek the recovery of the terrorists unrecorded in law enforcement agencies records or to release the prisoners on account of "they appear to be innocent from their faces".

Ehsan
September 21, 2013 6:23 pm

Gora sahab mentality!!!

Suh
September 21, 2013 7:24 pm

Agree 100% with the writer. We are all aware of current PCB acting chairman's credibility & his qualification, even than this is our internal matter. How dare ECB chair comment on it!!! Mind your own affairs Mr. Clarke!!!

anasabbas
September 21, 2013 7:51 pm

He is actually right about the way Pakistan Government is handling Cricket in Pakistan. I mean there is no way you can bring a team to Pakistan. That is impossible..

malik
September 21, 2013 8:48 pm

Clarke is right. courts are unnecessarily ruining the PCB. Let Najam Sethi work after all he is only a caretaker. And Appointed as per the directive of one court and then the other court comes in and paralyses the whole PCB.

Punj_Nud
September 21, 2013 9:00 pm

Rashid Latif cannot write this, I don't know who helped him? :-) Rashid Latif recently was asked by PCB to produce evidence for his match-fixing allegations in Zimbabwe. He should concentrate on that, first. He is obviously a controversial character, always making bombastic statements to get attention. This is another example. I thank Giles Clark for raising awareness of this issue. Our courts can be as out of touch as we are as a nation.

Khalid
September 21, 2013 9:47 pm

What I don't understand is the unecessary interference of the judiciary in cricketing matters. Have they finished all their work and there are no pending cases that they have decided to put their nose where it doesn't belong?. Furthermore, what cricketing expertise do we have in our judiciary?. I have said this before. I think Chief Justice should declare to the nation that he has eradicated bribe culture from our judiciary compeltely. Once he does that, he can attack every other department in Pakistan (provided he has no pending cases in any court in Pakistan for more than a couple fo weeks). How about that?. I am sure the nation will be greatful to him.

Imran Siddiqui
September 21, 2013 10:50 pm

@HK: Pakistan is the most resilient and one of the most intelligent nations on the face of Earth. We don't need criticism or suggestions from numb nuts like Clarke because we have great cricket minds in Pakistan. Next time share your name instead of HK because HK is usually used an abb. for not so good words.

Ebrahim
September 21, 2013 11:27 pm

PCB should take this issue seriously and maybe send a legal notice asking for explanation from ECB and also stating why legal action should be taken against Clarke, who is holding responsible position and giving irresponsible statements.

abdullah
September 22, 2013 12:05 am

ban the stupid game its ruining our youth in England u hardly c anyone playing cricket

ailly
September 22, 2013 1:29 am

Rashid Latif .... what you think and what you believe, keep and keep it limited to your self only. dont make a storm in a cup of tea. there's nothing wrong with the statement which you mentioned in your article. you are making a mockery of our cricket and further trying to create an imaginary situation out of nowhere. people are too sensible and competent readers can make it very clear on whose agenda are you working for. you are trying to be vocal for long with backing from a political party in karachi. you cannot control entire system. whats wrong with this statement if some one from UK is suggesting let PCB be managed clearly from nowhere but from within its own ranks ?. dont mingle it with politics for your favored party. keep your political views and cricket's belittle knowledge apart.

Shabut
September 22, 2013 2:20 am

"I would like to ask Mr Clarke why he chose this juncture to issue such a statement after meeting with the caretaker PCB chairman."

Perhaps Mr. Sethi, the interim PCB chairman asked him to do so? Mr. Sethi had also threatened to resign from the post if the courts did not stop from interfering.

SnowM
September 22, 2013 4:07 am

This is called storm in a cup of tea :)

Rakesh
September 22, 2013 4:36 am

@Imran Siddiqui: re: "Pakistan is.....one of the most intelligent nations on the face of Earth."

LOL!

Shahid
September 22, 2013 7:37 am

Dear Rashid Latif, Why would PCB seek an explaination when Mr. Clarke did it on Sethi's request. Do you think Clarke could dare to make such a statement about India? He would have compelled to be fired if he did so. I also think that it is Pakistan High Commisioner in London who should have spoken against these unethical words of Clarke and should have come heavy on him for speaking against our judiciary from the chirmans post of ECB. I also like to say, that its the same ECB and same Clarke who bow down to each and every demand from India and are playing the biggest part in giving ICC and the game of cricket as a hostage to the might of money.

Shahid
September 22, 2013 7:42 am

@ailly: It wouldn't matter to which political party Rashid Latif or Sethi are belonged to. The real thing here the statement by Clarke. I think every competent reader would agree that Clarke has no ethical reason to say that our judicial system should not regulate an organisation which is a pakistani sports body and is an entity which is based in Pakistan. He and then you must be out of his mind if you like him want the court to let PCB do whatever they like to do and not resolve the matters in court when they are about corruption in elections or when it is about not abiding by its own by-laws by PCB or any such body. Your statement has no reasoning and no qualified reason to prove that Rashid is wrong in saying his mind.

Shahid
September 22, 2013 7:54 am

@HK: Isn't your cricket body in india as well effected by the political affiliations? The point here is not about inffluence of political parties, its about Clarky asking the pakistani courts to not make judgements on legal matters when it is about PCB and specially when it is about Sethi whome they like to much in US and UK. And it is a matter of fact that Pakistan higher courts are free and also in this case their judgement is against the appointee of the ruling party MLN. Would you allow Gile Clarke to say the same about indian courts if they pass a judgement on your cricket organisation?

Kakka Karachi Ka
September 22, 2013 10:28 am

Mr Guilty Clarke or Mr. Gullible Clarke, should better try to improve the performance of ECB, which after decades, have been able to win the Ashes from Australia, only when the Australian cricket is in doldrums, because of another Mr. Clarke and his haughtiness.

Hyder
September 22, 2013 10:41 am

Sir,

Unfortunately Rashid Latif is acting far too big than his mandate in all matters and Giles Clarke's statement is absolutely correct.

The courts should concentrate more towards prosecution of deadly terrorists and leave cricket alone.

Regards,

Hyder

MUHAMMAD RAMZAN
September 22, 2013 12:19 pm

No one can dictate us, if we are honest with our job. Long live pakistan.

Adil
September 22, 2013 2:22 pm

@Rakesh: Dont laugh he is telling the truth !!!

Khanm
September 22, 2013 4:13 pm

When cricket going weird, the weird cricketers turn pro. Many cricketers play their whole life without knowing that it is not the cricket they are after. it is money

Indra
September 22, 2013 6:48 pm

Will they dare challenge BCCI? never. Pakistan is being humiliated in all walks of life.

sohaib alvi
September 22, 2013 7:03 pm

By coincidence I wrote on the same topic in the magazine section (that closes few days from print date). Yes, we have problems and irregularities, but lets not accept hypocrisy, shall we? Its the storm in a tea cup that get out of hand to become a storm. Unless we nip these in the bud, there will be no end, as we are seeing at a larger level.

http://dawn.com/news/1044564/an-open-letter-to-mr-giles-clarke

Maryam Siddiqe
September 22, 2013 7:39 pm

Why don't we appoint Pakistan judiciary to manage the affairs of cricket in Pakistan?

Pakistani judiciary frequently dismisses policemen so why don't we also appoint Pakistani judiciary to manage internal affairs of police too.

To question a decision is different to making a decision. If courts are making decisions then they should just become the governing body for all Pakistani institutions which will save costs as we wouldn't have two people doing the same job.

Fatima
September 22, 2013 8:00 pm

What I dont get is why havent we raised the issue and complained at Govt Level ...where is our London High commissioner ??? ...How dare any tom,dick and harry pass comments on our judicial system esp when we have the best judges for a change ???

M. Emad
September 22, 2013 10:47 pm

Clarke has said 100% right thing --- Why Pakistan get angry if someone speaks the truth?

Israr Raja
September 23, 2013 7:45 am

Agree with Mr. Clarke, there is too much interference of Pakistani courts in PCB affairs, courts do not let Board to work at all.

AJ
September 23, 2013 12:29 pm

It is such a worrying matter to read some comments where the writers say that the courts should only deal with the criminals and should avoid making judgements on PCB. I don't know where their mind is or if they don't know anything about judiciary and its scope to hear cases whenever things are working according to the law. If it goes by these peoples wish then tomorrow some other sector would want the judiciary to keep away and so on. What a simple way to anarchy and lawlessness.

Imran
September 23, 2013 3:27 pm

@Adil: do you know the truth?

Imran
September 23, 2013 3:34 pm

@Rakesh: and you are ..... the most intelligent person on the face of this earth !

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