Sports Ministry takes Pak cricket under its control

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Lahore, Sep 23 (UNI) The Sports Ministry has decided to take control of the PCB, which has been fuctioning independently since 1948, and will monitor the Board's operational and financial affairs.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) today said the ministry amended the its long-running constitution and issued a notification to the governing body yesterday.

Sports minister Najamuddin Khan confirmed that his ministry has taken charge of the PCB since the Board did not have a chairman since the resignation of Nasim Ashraf.

''As the Board was functioning without a chairman since last month, the ministry has decided to take measures to bring cricket affairs under the its control,'' Khan said today.

''We want to have a certain level of transparency in the cricket affairs as the recent performances of our team have been below par,'' Khan added.

The PCB chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi said the ministry will be in charge of the policy decisions.

''Apart from that, day-to-day affairs and those things which have already been approved by the board, I believe, the ministry will let the board handle them. This is my assumption,'' he said.

But Naghmi added that until yesterday's notification is clarified there would have to be a clear division of duties between the ministry and the PCB to avoid confusion.

Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council (ICC) decided to stay away from it and refused to comment.

However, a source close to the Board said, ''The move could definitely change the whole face of cricket in the country and the way it is being run. This is the first time the ministry has got involved in cricket affairs''.

The PCB, the richest sports body in Pakistan, has functioned independently since it was launched as the Board of Control for Cricket in Pakistan (BCCP) in 1948.

The PCB had came in for strong criticism from former Test players especially with the way it has been unable to convince major teams to tour Pakistan.

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