Pakistan's sports ministry has said that a governing board meeting of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) scheduled for September 13 is 'illegal'. The ministry has warned against holding the meeting, telling the PCB top brass that it will be 'unconstitutional' and any steps taken in it would be declared null and void.
"According to the PCB constitution, only the PCB chairman can summon a governing board meeting," sports secretary Ashraf Khan told the News from Islamabad. "There is no provision for such a meeting in case the chairman is not around to ask for it."
The PCB is without a chairman since Nasim Ashraf stepped down last month just hours after Pervez Musharraf -- then the PCB's chief patron -- resigned as president. The current PCB constitution was written under Ashraf and gives the board chairman sweeping powers.
It says that a governing board meeting can only be summoned by the chairman. In case the board members want to meet, they should have a two-thirds majority and then ask the chairman to call a meeting. That makes it impossible for a governing board to meet without the chairman's consent.
The September 13 meeting was called by the PCB's international committee that met in Karachi earlier this week to discuss the situation following the postponement of the Champions Trophy. Senior PCB officials had planned a tri-series in South Africa to fill the gap but the international committee decided that the issue will be resolved by the governing board next Saturday.
However, Ashraf Khan said that the governing board is unauthorised to take any decisions, according to the constitution. He said that the PCB will have to wait for the appointment of its new chairman or should get an ad-hoc set-up to run the national cricket affairs.
"All the decisions taken during the meeting would be illegal. And the people convening the meeting will be made answerable for the expenses involved in holding such an exercise," said the sports secretary.
Having said that, Ashraf Khan took a swipe at the PCB constitution, stressing that it needs to be rewritten. "The existing constitution is undemocratic and gives the chairman the powers of a dictator," he said. "The PCB needs a constitution that is democratic, consultative, representative and participative."
Ashraf Khan pointed out that Nasim Ashraf had made the PCB a one-man show by using the constitution. "The previous PCB chairman was all powerful. He even handpicked the members of the governing board. Everything revolved around him. Such a system should be replaced with a more democratic structure."
The sports ministry's formula for bringing a change in the system is to initially impose ad-hoc rule in the PCB. Such a proposal has received criticism because the last time an ad-hoc committee was formed to run the PCB, it stayed there for almost eight years.
But Ashraf Khan said his ministry wants a temporary, three-month ad-hoc stint during which a new, 'more democratic' constitution will be written. "We are taking the necessary steps to form an ad-hoc committee which will be given three months to bring the (PCB) house in order. During that time a new constitution will be approved and implemented to ensure that Pakistan cricket is run in a professional manner."