LAHORE - Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chaudhry Zaka Ashraf Tuesday said that the board was trying to launch vilifying campaign against him through leaking concocted stories to media at the behest of Najam Sethi.
Talking exclusively to The Nation, Zaka said: “All the flimsy audit observations reported in the media by certain persons with vested interests were also baseless and are strongly denied. They have designs to distract the attention of general public from the mismanagement and failure in the affairs of PCB i.e. Pakistan’s defeat in T20 World Cup, Asia Cup, the defaulty stand of PCB regarding the Big-3 of the ICC and accepting the hegemony of India.”
“During my tenure, when I asked the PCB COO and board officials of accounts and finance department about its financial position, they said that in your era, the PCB didn’t make any financial loss.”
He elaborated: “When I took the charge, the reserves of the board were Rs 4 billion and when I left the board, the reserves were around Rs 5 billion which clearly itself indicates that the board matters were being handled in the most prudent way and the board didn’t make loss. Whereas, adhoc chairman Najam Sethi is every now and then he is propagating that the board is going bankrupt which clearly manifests that he has got no experience of management of the PCB or handling of the financial management.
On tickets issue in England and India during the Champions Trophy and World Cup 2011, Zaka stated: “All the high commissioners, ambassadors, players and their families get the complementary tickets from the cricket board and this practice has been successively followed.”
He said that the PCB chairman was offered facilities of electricity bills, four servants, a car, maintenance of home and others, but he never utilized any of them. “I am thankful to the Almighty who has blessed me with everything. Neither these petty issues are priority for me.
He said that the current setup was not an interim setup but an adhoc on the board which was imposed by removing a legal and constitutional elected chairman just for the sake of one person.
“First Islamabad High Court (IHC) restored me with all powers and asked me run the board affairs in a befitting manner. But Sethi and co referred their appeal to the honourable Supreme Court where their application was dismissed and withdrawn. After that, government intervened bulldozing the law of land, PCB constitution and elected board of governance and handed the charge of the PCB to Najam Sethi,” he added.
It is pertinent to mention that the PCB constitution was prepared in accordance with the International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations and also approved by it. The elections, which were held in Pakistan for the first time in its cricket history, were also endorsed and welcomed by the ICC and international cricket community.
“I acted everything as per PCB rules and did not even a single violation. All stories are being made to tarnish my image and respect which I have in the eyes of cricket lovers and Pakistani nation. I am a loyal Pakistani unlike those who are mudslinging and propagating at the behest of hidden agenda,” Zaka concluded.