LAHORE - Former Pakistan foreign secretary, Shaharyar M Khan Monday formally took over as the new Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman.

Acting chairman and chief election commissioner of the board, Justice (r) Sair Ali announced the election of Shaharyar through a notification stating that a special meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG) had elected him. “Except for Shaharyar, no one filed nomination papers for the post and the BoG unanimously elected him as chairman in the absence of any opposing candidate.”

Talking to the reporters after taking over as PCB chairman here at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), Shahryar said: “The difference between my earlier and current tenure is nomination and election. First I was nominated chairman and now elected one. I am thankful to all the members of Board of Governors (BoG) for putting faith in me and electing me as PCB chairman.”

“It is true that I earlier refused to take over as PCB chairman but I took U-turn in respect of the honourable Supreme Court which wanted me to contest for the PCB chief post and run its affairs adeptly,” he added.

To a query regarding Pakistan team performance in the Test matches against Sri Lanka, Shahryar said: “Yes, their performance was not up to the mark but do see Sri Lankan team, which recently beat England, and they are in great form, so it was not easy to beat them at their home soil. I will call the coach and captain to encourage them to do well in the ODI series. I won’t break continuity until and unless it will be direly needed.”

He disclosed that to run the affairs of the board smoothly, he would form different committees. “I want to bring improvement in all the departments and for this, I will various committees. A meeting will be held on Saturday in this regard in which different committees will be formed and will be assigned various tasks to strengthen the system.”

“The thing which I was unable to do in my earlier tenure was promotion of grassroots cricket so this time, my focus will be on it and for this, I will personally visit to witness regional and first class matches. The school, college and university level cricket will also be promoted as these are nurseries of cricket and they will provide us promising talent. Women cricket will also be made better,” he stated.

Shahryar felt that there was very heavy coaching staff. “Too many cooks spoil the broth. According to me, the players must be coached at grassroots level, as after that they just need guidance how to improve their skills. So we will look into this matter and try to lessen the army of coaches.”

“To make the financial help of the board better, there is a need of downsizing. Only incompetent, overage and expired-contracted employees will be fired. We will first work on it and then do it,” he said.

To a query regarding revival of Pakistan-India cricket series, he replied: “Actually there is no issue of cricket but issue of security. Unless we assure foolproof security to visiting teams, they will not agree to play with us at our home grounds. First, we will invite low-ranked cricket playing nations, and A teams of different countries which will help us show the world softer image of the country and then gradually comes towards bigger teams. I am hopeful the doors of international cricket will open gradually.”

To another query regarding Misbahul Haq as captain, the PCB chief said: “Right now, there is no perfect captain so according to me, Misbah should be the captain till 2015 World Cup. He is performing his duty well and I hope he will lead the team well not only in the ODI series against Sri Lanka, but also in the World Cup 2015.”

At one hand, Shahryar assured there would be no inquiry against the players who would be unable to do well in a series but on the other hand, he clarified that there wouldn’t be no escape for those who were involved in gambling and other wrongdoings.

Talking about the Pakistan Super League (PSL), he said: “We need more time to make the PSL a success. We are working on it and we will try our best to make it fruitful for the players as well as for the board.”

To a query regarding M Aamir, Shahryar said: “After punishment, it is difficult for the players to make a comeback but Aamir’s case is different. So we will try to convince the ICC to review his case.”