Sports Ministry declares PCB moot as 'illegal'

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Lahore, Sep 6 (UNI) Neck-deep in controversy, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) received another setback when its Governing Board meeting scheduled to be held here on September 13, was declared 'illegal' by Sports Ministry.

The ministry has warned against holding the Governing Board meeting, telling the PCB top brass that it will be 'unconstitutional' and any steps taken in it would be declared null and void.

''According to the PCB constitution, only the PCB chairman can summon a Governing Board meeting,'' secretary sports Ashraf Khan said. ''There is no provision for such a meeting in case the chairman is not around to ask for it,'' he added.

Last month Nasim Ashraf resigned from the Chairmanship of the Board just hours after Pervez Musharraf, the then PCB's chief patron, resigned as the President and since then the Board running without a figure head.

The current PCB constitution was written under Ashraf and gives the Board chairman sweeping powers.

It says that a Governing Board meeting can only be summoned by the chairman. In case its members want to meet, they should have a two-thirds majority and then ask the chairman to call a meeting.

That makes it impossible for a Governing Board to meet without the chairman's consent.

The September 13 moot was called by the PCB's International Committee that met in Karachi earlier this week to discuss the situation following the postponement of the ICC Champions Trophy.

Senior PCB officials had planned a tri-series in South Africa to fill in the gap left by the switching of the Champions Trophy but the International Committee decided that the issue will be resolved by the Governing Board next Saturday.

However, Ashraf Khan made it clear that the Governing Board does not hold any powers and it is unauthorised to take any decisions, according to its constitution.

He said the PCB will have to wait for the appointment of its new chairman or should get an ad-hoc set-up to run the national cricket affairs.

''All the decisions taken during the meeting would be illegal.

And the people convening the meeting will be made answerable for the expenses involved in holding such an exercise,'' said the sports secretary.

Ashraf further criticised the PCB constitution which he believes needs to rewritten. ''The existing constitution is undemocratic and gives the chairman the powers of dictator.

''The PCB needs a constitution that is democratic, consultative, representative and participative,'' he said.

Ashraf also lashed at Nasim Ashraf's regime, who, he believes, had made the PCB a one-man show by using the constitution.

''The previous PCB chairman was all powerful. He even handpicked the members of the Governing Board. Everything revolved around him.

Such a system should be replaced with a more democratic structure,'' he pointed.

However, the sports secretary said his ministry wants a temporary, three-month ad-hoc stint during which a new, 'more democratic' constitution will be put into practice.

''We are taking the necessary steps to form an ad-hoc committee which will be given three months to bring the (PCB) house in order.

''During that time a new constitution will be approved and implemented to ensure that Pakistan cricket is run in a professional manner,'' he said.

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