LAHORE, April 16: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday sacked as many as 80 employees, including 69 from lower grades. And though the PCB released the names of 11 high officials who have been removed, it did not provide the list of the affected lower grade employees.

Surprisingly, the board announced its drastic decision at a press conference without even informing the affected employees. That caused a panic among all low-grade employees but they were instructed to stay away from PCB main offices and await the final list to get released.

“The decision has not been taken to reduce the expenditures, but to appoint right man for the right job,” said the newly appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) Shafqat Hussain Naghmi at the hurriedly arranged press conference. He was flanked by board’s director marketing and media, Dr Ahsan Hameed Malik.

The 11 high officials sacked on Monday are Col Mohammad Pervez (General Manager Special Task), Nazir Ahmed (Executive), Major J.A Khan Manj (GM Administration), Major Ahmed Anwar (Manager Archives, Museum and Library), Yar Mohammad Solangi (Project Supervisor), Khalil-ur-Rehman (Assistant Incharge Works), Ansar Ahmed (Incharge Academy/Net Area), Razaullah Khan (Coordinator Cricket Operations), Mahmood Abdullah (Executive), Naveed Iqbal Cheema, Raza Ahmed Khan (Coordinator Islamabad Cricket Stadium).

“PCB acknowledges the service of all these (sacked) employees during their stay with the Board and wishes them good luck in their future,” said Naghmi. He added that the exercise was aimed to restructure the Board on corporate lines, ensuring good governance. “The decision has been taken under the light of the recommendations of a human resource company which started work on Nov 12, 2006.

"In order to go about the proposed restructuring in an objective and fair manner, the Ferguson Associates conducted a complete HR and management audit through a job-by-job analysis and then compared the same with other cricket Boards such as Australia and South Africa," he clarified.

“A total of 80 number of employees from the existing setup (a mix of all categories, permanent, contractual and daily wages at all managements levels) are being relieved from their positions with severance pay,” he said.Meanwhile, sources told Dawn that the origin list of sacked employees comprised 90 persons but some influential people got themselves restored through various means.

Sources also said that most of the sacked employees had been regularised in 2002 by then chairman Lt Gen Tauqir Zia. The list included seasoned groundsmen, drivers and gardeners.

Naghmi, however, assured that all future appointments will be made under the new policy of the board and will be based on merit. He said Director National Cricket Academy Mudassar Nazar has been assigned the post of Director Game Development besides his current job in the PCB.