ISLAMABAD: Ehsan Mani replaced Najam Sethi as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as he was elected unopposed for three years on Tuesday.
Ehsan Mani was the only Governing Board member to have submitted papers for chairman’s office and was later unanimously elected to the post. Earlier, patron of the PCB Prime Minister Imran Khan nominated Ehsan Mani and Asad Khan as members of Governing Board with former tipped to become the new chairman. The special election meeting of the Board was held under the chairmanship of Justice (R) Afzal Haider to elect the permanent head of the PCB for three years. Ehsan Mani resumed his charge with immediate effect and started holding introductory meetings with the Board officials.
Ehsan Mani had served International Cricket Council (ICC) in different capacities in the past for almost 15 years. He represented the then Board of Control for Cricket in Pakistan (BCCP) in the ICC as a representative from 1989 to 1996, from there onward as Director Finance ICC till 2002. Ehsan Mani was then elected as the ICC president from 2003 to 2006.
He is also member of the Shaukat Khanum Governing Board where he heads the audit committee. These days he is also looking after tourism development in Galiat. The immediate task Mani faces is to sell the TV rights for next five to eight years getting best possible deal for the Board. The Pakistan Super League (PSL) is another challenge he faces. Bringing majority of the fourth edition matches to Pakistan and making even better pick than what it was previously would be the challenges he faces. The row with Indian Board over bilateral series is another important task to tackle for Mani. The PCB has already demanded a huge amount as compensation from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for Indian national team’s failure to play two back to back bilateral series against Pakistan. The ICC Dispute Committee is set to listen to parties’ version on October 1 for the future course of action.
Later, talking to media, Ehsan Mani hinted at brining changes in Pakistan first class cricket making it more qualitative. “We would look into the possibility of making the domestic cricket more competitive. That is only possible if best players are picked to compete in selected teams. Less teams would make the system stronger,” he said.
He also talked about bringing in constitutional changes in the PCB. “There is a need to have a chief executive in the PCB. Required changes would be made to make the PCB working more professional.”
Mani said that PSL audit is already being conducted by the Auditor General of Pakistan. “The AG has some queries, the answers of which are being gathered. Total transparency would be adhered to. All working of the PCB would be done according to laid down rules. Accountability is must at all levels,” he said.
Mani said Indian cricket policy had been contradictory all these years. “They play against Pakistan in Asian Cup and in other ICC events but are reluctant to play in bilateral series. I would not request them to play against Pakistan. I have never done that in the past when I was head of the ICC. For me Pakistan’s self-respect is top priority,” he maintained.