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April 13, 2021

NA body mulls action against Mani over repeated absence from meetings

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Monday contemplated to initiate necessary action against Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani if he continues to stay away from the committee’s future meetings.

The NA’s committee met here under the chairmanship of Agha Hassan Baloch. Later talking to ‘The News’ the NA body hoped that the PCB chairman will make himself available in the next meeting to clarify different issues confronting the game.

“We are hopeful that Mani will be there in the next meeting failing which the action will be initiated in consultation with the committee’s members but we expect that he would understand urgency of the situation.”

Hassan said that some of the issues regarding the PCB’s working have already been referred to the Privilege Committee. PCB’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Salman Naseer and Col (r) Mohammad Ashfaq who were present in the meeting said that Mani was back from the UK.

“He is in quarantine these days and attending the meetings virtually. The PCB chairman will appear before the committee once he completes quarantine period.” The committee members expressed their concerns over repeated absence of the chairman, saying that if they (committee members) could ensure their availability despite corona virus threat then the PCB chairman should have been there too.

“Covid-19 threat is equal for everyone especially for us who are old. We are here because we feel that discussion on these issues are important,” PTI MNA Nawab Sher Wazir said. The MNA added the meeting was held in accordance with the required SOPs. “So there is no point in staying away from the meeting.”

The committee’s members also voiced concerns over the postponement of the PSL 2021 edition despite an earlier announcement from the PCB to make all the necessary arrangements for bio-secure bubble.

“PCB is also answerable to that as what had gone wrong that resulted in such breach and hence the postponement of the league till June. Everywhere in the world, the cricketing boards are successfully holding these leagues under the tight protocols?”

The PCB officials said that the report on the PSL’s postponement finalized by an independent panel had been submitted with the PCB chairman.

“He is currently going through the report and would take decisions accordingly.” The FIFA’s decision to suspend Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) also came under discussion. MNA Shahida Rehmani said that the PFF fell victim to infighting.

“Everyone in the PFF wants complete control of the federation. Those who have been entrusted with the powers to hold elections also want to extend their stay at the helm of affairs. This all resulted in bringing bad name to the country and its football.”

Col (r) Asif Zaman, who attended his first NA meeting as director general of the Pakistan Sports Board while reacting to the questions regarding non-release of grants to the federations, said that the grants would be released on the basis of performance.

“Only those federations will be given grants in future who will show performance.” He added that the PSB was in process of going through federations’ performance during the last five years. “On the basis of that performance we would be making future plans to release grants to the result-producing federations.”