In a surprising turn of events, Anwar ul Haq Kakar, the PCB patron and Pakistan’s acting prime minister, has confirmed that Zaka Ashraf will remain at the helm of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) until the conclusion of the ODI World Cup in India. This decision comes as a deviation from the initial plan, which had set November 5 as the end date for the current Ashraf-led interim management committee’s tenure.
The PCB has recently faced a series of high-profile controversies and errors, casting a shadow of uncertainty over its future. Notably, a press release attributed to the PCB had erroneously blamed star cricketer Babar Azam and former chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq for their roles in Pakistan cricket. Inzamam had since resigned from his post, adding to the turmoil within the board.
Furthermore, a leaked WhatsApp conversation between the national team captain and a senior PCB official stirred controversy and raised concerns about the board’s internal affairs.
Critics of Zaka Ashraf, including members of the management committee like Zulfiqar Malik and Mustafa Ramday, have openly criticized his decision-making and perceived lack of action regarding the much-awaited board elections. In October, Malik expressed his disapproval of PCB operations in an email addressed to Ashraf, other committee members, and the prime minister. Meanwhile, Mustafa Ramday also voiced his discontent with the way the board has been managed.
Kakar, the PCB patron, explained the decision to retain Ashraf’s leadership by saying, “At this time, you know there is a tournament going on. We’ll look after this tournament what needs doing, what doesn’t need doing. At this moment, I don’t think we are going to make a big decision. The reason for that is that at times you have to work according to the doctrine of necessity. Once we are past the World Cup, then we’ll see.”
The term “doctrine of necessity” referenced by Kakar is associated with two significant judgments in Pakistan’s history. The first, dating back to 1954, authorized the use of extra-constitutional emergency powers. The second, in 1977, gave legitimacy to a military coup. Kakar’s use of this term emphasizes the critical and delicate nature of the current situation within the PCB.
As the patron of the PCB and interim prime minister, Kakar had two choices to consider this weekend: either appoint a new committee or extend the tenure of the existing one. Ultimately, the decision was made to continue with the existing leadership under Zaka Ashraf.