Questions raised over Ehsan Mani’s position as PCB chief

Published August 26, 2021
In this file photo, PCB chairman Ehsan Mani addresses a news conference in Karachi. —White Star/File
In this file photo, PCB chairman Ehsan Mani addresses a news conference in Karachi. —White Star/File

LAHORE: The complex situation currently prevailing in the Pakistan Cricket Board, after Prime Minister Imran Khan could not announce its two nominees for the Board of Governors (BoG), has raised questions as to who the incumbent PCB chairman is.

The prime minister, who is also PCB patron-in-chief, nominated Ehsan Mani and Asad Ali Khan as his two nominees in the BoG of the cricket board on Aug 24, 2018 for a period of three years which ended on Aug 23, 2021. Therefore, according to that nomination date, both Mani and Asad are no more BoG members and as a result Mani is no more PCB chairman.

Though the prime minister has appointed retired Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed as election commissioner for the election of the new PCB chairman, till the nomination of two persons either to retain Mani and Asad or to change anyone as BoG members, the process of election cannot start.

In cricketing circles, there is another interpretation signifying that as then election commissioner retired Justice Syed Afzal Haider issued the notification for Mani and Asad as BoG members on the PM advice on Aug 27, 2018, Mani can run the office till Aug 26.

The PM has not yet issued the notification for two nominees, from whom one will be elected as the next PCB chairman for three years.

According to a PCB official, there is no confusion in this regard as the PCB constitution clause 7-2 about the election of the chairman guides clearly. According to this clause, in case the post of chairman falls vacant for any reason and there is no vice-chairman elected by the BoG, the chief executive officer (CEO) will become the chairman to continue day-to-day working till the election of the new PCB chairman. And if the remaining BoG members ask the CEO that they want to elect a vice-chairman they could do it.

Sources told Dawn that the delay in nominating two nominees by the prime minister might be the result that a good number of candidates are running for the coveted post of PCB chairman which is considered one of the top positions in Pakistan, creating selection problems for the PM.

According to media reports, Mani is still a candidate for the next term, though he failed in many fields particularly in raising formidable Pakistan men’s, women’s and junior teams in all three formats.

Moreover, the domestic cricket structure has been hit hard and still clubs’ registration across the country has not been completed, a task which has to be done under the new PCB constitution implemented on Aug 19, 2019.

As a result, no elected bodies at the city as well as provincial cricket associations could be formed and no one knows when the entire process will be completed.

Important to note here is that three elected members of the provincial cricket associations should be included in the BoG but so far not a single one has joined just because the registration of the clubs is still going on.

Currently, only five members, all nominated, are working as BoG members out of total 10, which must be eight in numbers after the omission of Mani and Asad.

Though the PCB has appointed around 100 coaches with the 93 city cricket associations running directly under its own control, thousands of cricketers became jobless as the PCB under the new constitution abolished the decades-old departmental cricket in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2021

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