LAHORE - Two chiefs of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Shaharyar Khan and Najam Sethi, who were inducted by Prime Minister Mian M Nawaz Sharif in the Board’s governing body, have managed to pass a resolution to end government interference in the board.

It is pertinent to mention here that the International Cricket Council (ICC), like other international bodies, has issued their members strict orders regarding stopping political interference in the respective cricket boards in order to run the affairs of the board in a smooth and befitting manner. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has also sanctioned and approved the democratic PCB constitution which bars government not to interfere in the internal affairs of the cricket board.

But the question here is that how can a person, who himself was brought in by the government, could stop political or government interference in the board’s matters. Both Shaharyar Khan and Najam Sethi were appointed by the Prime Minister, so it was too tough for them to keep the government at bay from interfering in their matters.

This Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2016 of the cricket board was held here Thursday with PCB chairman Shaharyar M Khan presiding over it. PCB executive committee chairman Najam Sethi, COO Subhan Ahmad, CFO Badar Manzoor as well as the entire top and upper tier management of the board also attended the meeting. The AGM passed the unanimous resolution stating that government interference in the internal affairs of the PCB was not acceptable because it violated the democratic PCB constitution sanctioned and approved by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and International Cricket Council (ICC).

This so-called democratic constitution also has the provision that gives the prime minister authority to induct two members in its governing body. And then the governing body members chose their chairman, the obvious that one who has the prime minister’s blessings.

It may also be mentioned that the PCB’s governing board, which does not have a single cricketer in its ranks, also refused to hold meeting due to the dictatorship of the two functional heads of the PCB, who took recently major decisions without taking the governing board into confidence to save their skins.

It may also be noted that the ‘democratic’ PCB chiefs are also delaying the elections of the regional associations to help their blue-eyed persons to muster the support by hook and crook before the elections as the majority of these PCB-backed aspirants lack support from the voting member clubs and have also proved a failure in their previous stints.

Shaharyar briefed the general body members about the board’s efforts in bringing international cricket back to Pakistan, which resulted in organising series against Afghanistan, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh women’s team. He also informed the participants on the successful holding of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in the United Arab Emirates.

The PCB chairman has urged the regional presidents to promote school cricket. He emphasized that coaches had a very important role to play and the board would try to send level-IV coaches to different districts. PCB executive committee chairman Najam Sethi informed the AGM that the PSL was a huge financial success for the PCB and the franchises were also happy that the value of their assets had increased substantially. He explained that the PSL profits were substantially higher than projected.

“The PCB’s ‘sponsorship initiative in the PSL' had also drawn dividends for regional cricket, which has started to benefit cricket at the domestic level. Now we plan to broaden our PSL perspective by adding more sponsors and try to hold a couple of matches in Pakistan,” said Sethi and added that the board would look into the participants’ grievances and try to solve in a specific time period.

COO Subhan Ahmad moderating the AGM, subsequently minutes of the last meeting were approved, Annual Report 2014-15 came under discussion and the house unanimously accepted it. Having met the stringent PCB criteria, in accordance with constitution’s Article 20, the AGM also recommended affiliation and playing rights to Panjgur District.

The PCB chairman especially assured members from Fata, Balochistan, and AJK of doing everything in the board’s power to facilitate promotion of cricket in their respective regions.

In the end, all members were given an opportunity to dilate upon their views, suggestions and proposals and air their grievances. Shaharyar and Subhan assured the general body members that each one of the suggestions had been faithfully recorded and also that this feedback shall be given a sympathetic consideration in order to promote cricket across the country.