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August 11, 2019

PCB’s new constitution gives undemocratic look

ISLAMABAD: The new Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) constitution (The News has the copy) that got Federal Cabinet nod Friday gives highly undemocratic look with all the decisive powers vested in the hands of unelected members of the Board of Governors (BoG).

Out of eleven total BoG members, ten will have the voting rights to decide on any important matter. Out of these ten members seven will be nominated, rather than the elected that should have come out of a systematic evaluation from the grassroots level. The BoG formation suggests that two nominees of the PCB Patron will part of the GoB. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who is already been appointed by the chairman on the recommendations of his own formed committee will be the third member of the BoG.

The new constitution also ensures the inclusion of four independent members in the BoG and look who will nominate these. Two members of the old BoG (could well be chairman himself and any of his trusted member) and one independent (again trusted one). The four members then will raise overall strength of non-elected members to seven, meaning these will be having ultimate (seventy percent authority) to decide the fate of the game of cricket in Pakistan.

This is new combination of that gives immense powers to non-elected officials is in sharp contrast to ICC directions which are evident from May 27, 2019 letter written by the Board to Secretary Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Akbar Durrani in which PCB says that by virtue of being the members of ICC, all the national cricket federations are required to put in place a democratic and transparent system of governance but also pay heed to recommendations of Wolf Report of the ICC.

One of these recommendations is to minimize the involvement of the government in the functioning of respective cricket federations.

The letter further adds that Sri Lanka Board interim set up member was not allowed to sit in the ICC meeting in the past as he was only allowed to participate as an observer and Sri Lanka funding was also blocked. PCB does not want any such scenario as it receives heavy amount annually from the ICC.

However, the formation of the BoG in the new constitution gives totally opposite story. Almost 70 percent of powers to run the PCB will be in hands of nominated rather than elected officials.

The new PCB constitution has also abolished district association role in PCB General Council. The previous Board constitution was having 101-member General Council. Now the city cricket associations, new name for district cricket associations, are thrown out of PCB Council in an effort to further marginalize scope and powers of the GC.

In sharp contrast to strengthen grassroots cricket, the new constitution has also omitted the vital clause of active club from the definition chapter. PCB constitution also carries a clause for formation of provincial associations and getting them registered under Societies Act which will polarized the political side of these associations to the core.

Both departments and regions have been abolished and the first class cricket will be reduced to only six teams to be managed by appointed provincial cricket association boards for at least one year before holding their elections. Once in power, there is all the likelihood that those pulling the strings of Provincial Associations for the initial season are to continue.

Though the powers of Chairman and CEO are defined and separated but still the buck stops at Chairman’s desk. He is still a powerful man as CEO will report to him and BoGs.

In another interesting clause, only three previous BoG members (two nominated by the Patron-in this case Ehsan Mani and Asad Khan and CEO) are to be part of the new BoG set up while rest of eight members will seize to exit. This will materialize once the formation of new Board completes.

When a PCB spokes was approached on the non-democratic look of the new constitution, he said the Board had yet to get a copy of the approved constitution. “Once we get that we will be in a position to answer your concerns.”