Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Executive Officer Colonel (retired) Rafi Nasim has criticised the appointment of a person 'absolutely alien to cricket' as the new chairman of the board, which he said is "treated like other government departments open to be run by any Tom, Dick or Harry."
With the ouster of incompetent Ijaz Butt from the PCB, cricket lovers have heaved a sigh of relief, but they are equally surprised at the appointment of banker Chaudhary Zaka Ashraf- a person absolutely alien to cricket and his ability to raise the level of a cricket board left in doldrums, Colonel Nasim wrote in the Daily Times.
"This is, however, nothing new for the PCB. Since the board's constitution gives the power of appointing its chairman to the patron-in-chief (President of Pakistan), it is his pleasure to appoint a person of his choice. The post of PCB chief, having become as lucrative as that of the highest level in the government, people close to the President strive for it, prompting him to oblige the one he can trust the most," he added.
Colonel Nasim rued that since no one at the government level considers 'cricket administration as a science meant for those having expertise in the subject', they are not concerned whether the appointed person is suitable for the job or not.
"The PCB is treated like other government departments open to be run by any Tom, Dick or Harry. The cursory glance over the last one decade will show how a general, a doctor and a diplomat were appointed to hold the 'specialist appointment' one after the other. They were, however the men enjoying high stature and repute while Chaudhary Zaka Ashraf is not," he noted.
According to news reports, a petition has been filed against the new PCB chief in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, seeking recovery of losses suffered by the nation due to irregularities and corruption allegedly committed by him as head of Zaraiti Taraqiati Bank Ltd (ZTBL).
"We have no choice but to welcome the President Asif Ali Zardari's favourite as 'commander-in-chief' of Pakistan cricket and hope that he leaves his tainted past behind and works diligently to take the PCB out of multifarious problems that it is facing locally as well as in the international field," Colonel Nasim said.
To adjust himself in the new environment, the new chairman will have to use his intelligence and the sense of judgment to find the right people to keep him on the right track, the former PCB CEO opined.
The right course would be to consult former players and old officials of the board and associate some of them with him, as they will help him in spotting the mafia that in collaboration with Ijaz Butt caused all the damage to the PCB as well as Pakistan cricket, he added.
"Zaka Ashraf is required to revive the lost strength and glory of Pakistan and learn the functions of cricket boards, the intricacies of the game and the prevailing cricket issues at national and international level. Equipping himself with this knowledge is absolutely essential for his participation in cricket meetings and conferences at home as well as abroad," Colonel Nasim concluded.