Zaka Ashraf resigned as PCB Management Committee’s chairperson

LAHORE — Zaka Ashraf, the Chairperson of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee, announced his resignation on a Friday.

Ashraf, who had been an integral part of PCB’s Board of Governors since July 6, 2023, stepped into the role of Management Committee’s chairperson after succeeding Najam Sethi.

The decision to step down was conveyed during a pivotal management committee meeting at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore, where Ashraf tendered his resignation to the patron caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar.

A statement from the PCB acknowledged Ashraf’s departure, expressing gratitude for his service and well-wishes for the betterment of Pakistan and its cricket.

“In his concluding remarks, Zaka Ashraf, thanked the patron PCB for the confidence and trust reposed by him and extended his best wishes and prayers for the betterment of Pakistan and Pakistan cricket,” the release read.

Ashraf’s tenure, however, was not without its controversies. Criticisms mounted, with a spotlight on PCB’s operations and a particularly contentious statement during the World Cup, placing blame on captain Babar Azam and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq for Pakistan’s lackluster performance.

The situation escalated with a leaked WhatsApp conversation between Babar and a top PCB official, implicating Ashraf in allegedly instructing the airing of the conversation.

Inzamam-ul-Haq, facing allegations of conflict of interest, resigned as chief selector, prompting the PCB to initiate an investigation.

Despite a three-month extension granted by the caretaker Prime Minister, Ashraf’s administration faced challenges, culminating in the task of conducting elections for the PCB chairman and finalizing the Board of Governors.

Post-World Cup, the winds of change swept through Pakistani cricket as Babar Azam relinquished the captaincy, paving the way for Shan Masood (Test) and Shaheen Afridi (T20I) to lead the respective formats.

Under the leadership of the Zaka Ashraf-led Management Committee, the coaching staff, helmed by Director Mickey Arthur, faced dismissal, with former captain Mohammad Hafeez appointed as Team Director and ex-pacer Wahab Riaz leading the selection committee.

However, the shift in leadership did not yield immediate success on the field. The Shan Masood-led Test side endured a 3-0 series sweep in Australia, while Shaheen Afridi’s T20I team faced setbacks in New Zealand, losing the first four games of the series. — (IANS)