LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ijaz Butt has appointed Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmed as acting chairman of the board as the former is going on a one-month leave, starting from July 1.
While Subhan will act as chairman in the absence of Ijaz, Naveed Akram Cheema, a Governing Board member, will be looking after the Board’s financial affairs.
Soon after attending the crucial meetings of the ICC Executive Board on June 28 and 29 and later Full Council meeting on June 30 in Hong Kong, the PCB chairman will go on leave.
While the Full Council meeting is quite significant as it will make two major changes in the ICC constitution, which are set to hit Pakistan in particular, the absence of the PCB chairman from the cricketing scene after these amendments will be a blessing in disguise for him, or maybe a temporary relief to be exact.
The Full Council meeting will consider a constitutional amendment aimed at ensuring free elections in the affiliated countries’ boards without any government interference in cricketing matters.
Pakistan Cricket Board’s patron-in-chief is the country’s president and if this amendment is made at the Full Council meeting, the PCB will be deprived of this patronage and it will be forced to bring in an elected chairman, a long-held demand by the game’s critics in Pakistan.
Besides Pakistan, some other countries affiliated with the ICC, like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, also face government interference in their cricketing matters.
The second ICC constitutional amendment, if it is made eventually, is also going to have an impact on PCB’s interests as the Full Council will also consider a change to the process for nomination and election of ICC president.
Under the present procedure, the ICC president is elected from among full-member countries on rotation basis.
However, the new proposal suggests the ICC Executive Board will decide the process and term of office from time to time, subject to certain qualifying criteria.
Under the existing system, PCB chairman is to head the ICC with vice-president from Bangladesh, for the next term after the BCCI president Sharad Pawar completes his term.
Though Pakistan has raised its strong written concerns with the ICC against both the likely amendments, chances of PCB’s protest getting the minimum required support from other member countries remain bleak.