PCB’s interim management committee gets extension

The interim management committee currently running the PCB has been granted an extension of two months by the prime minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, who is also the patron of the cricket board. The length of the extension is more than had been expected.

Over the weekend, ESPNcricinfo had reported that the Inter-provincial coordination (IPC) ministry, which acts as a conduit between the board and government, had recommended that an extension of between two to a maximum of four weeks be considered for the management committee that runs the PCB’s daily affairs. They had also asked the prime minister to name two nominees to the PCB board, one of whom would be expected to become chairman. There was no word on the nominees in the notification issued by the IPC’s office.

That means the current PCB set-up, led by Najam Sethi, has been given till June 21 this year to implement the various changes they were targeting when they took over from the Ramiz Raja-led board in December last year. Sethi came in leading a 14-member management committee with a brief to replace the board’s 2019 constitution with the one that was in place in 2014.

The biggest change that will entail is the return of the regional and services department set-up in domestic cricket. Once again that will mean a total upending of Pakistan’s domestic cricket structure, which had been operating for the last three seasons on a leaner six-team model of provincial teams. That model was based on the Australian Shield structure, at the behest of then prime minister – and former captain – Imran Khan.

The management committee is also responsible for forming a board of governors and electing a chairman, with Sethi himself in the fray, according to the 2014 constitution. That process will begin with the election commissioner convening a special meeting with member boards.

The PCB’s board will comprise ten members: four regional representatives (top-four teams from the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy), four representatives of services organisations (top-four department teams), and the two members nominated by the patron/prime minister. The federal secretary of the IPC ministry (or any other officer nominated by them) shall be an ex-officio, non-voting 11th member. The term of each member of the board of governors is three years – equivalent to one term of the chairman – in a bid to promote continuity in the set-up.

“The Management Committee was appointed for a four-month period on 22 December 2022 to restore the 2014 PCB Constitution in its letter and spirit,” the PCB said. “This included, among other things, restoration and integration of departmental cricket in the domestic structure so that the careers and future of professional cricketers can be secured, elections at the district/zonal/regional level and composition of a democratic and elected Board of Governors.

“In this regard, significant work has already taken place.

“While a number of departments have confirmed their return to the domestic structure, election process at the district/zonal/regional level has recently picked up pace following last month’s appointment of the independent Election Commissioner by the… Prime Minister.

“It is anticipated the entire process for the revival of the 2014 PCB Constitution will be completed within the next 60 days.”

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