Saleem Altaf, the former Pakistan fast bowler, has completed a turnaround as remarkable as that of any player by becoming the new chief operating officer of the board, a post now renamed as director-general, PCB.
Altaf takes over from Shafqat Naghmi, who was removed along with coach Geoff Lawson, thus completing the major changes of chairman Ijaz Butt's new administration. "After the removal of Mr Shafqat Hussain Naghmi as chief operating office PCB by the governing board through a resolution, Mr Salim Altaf shall work as director-general, PCB, with the same authority as chief operating officer," a board statement said.
"It's a challenge. Everything has gone downhill but we'll build a new team," Altaf ""We are here to promote the game and as such the chairman and the team will consult and take advice from all cricket's stakeholders for that purpose."
Altaf has been with the board in his current stint since 2005, when he joined Shaharyar Khan's administration. As director of operations, he became one of the key senior officials of that time, but under Nasim Ashraf's chairmanship, he was swiftly sidelined. He took charge of special projects, which ostensibly meant heading the organisation for the ultimately postponed 2008 ICC Champions Trophy and the 2011 World Cup, of which Pakistan is one of the four co-hosts.
Earlier this year, however, the relationship between the two had deteriorated to such an extent that Ashraf sacked Altaf, accusing him of leaking classified board information to the media. Altaf successfully fought the case in court, arguing that the tapping of his phones - as the administration had done - was illegal. He was eventually reinstated to his position. Now, less than six months after being sacked, he has become the new chairman Ijaz Butt's right-hand man.