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IHC judgement could jeopardise Pak’s membership with ICC: PCB

The Pakistan Cricket Board is concerned about the fact that the ICC could suspend the country’s membership with the game’s governing body if the Islamabad High Court did not review its recent judgment on the affairs of PCB.

In its intra-court appeal filed in the Islamabad High Court, the PCB expressed fear that the court orders could jeopardise the national team’s participation in international competitions.

“And Pakistan’s failure to fulfil international commitments, might also result in the suspension of its membership,” the PCB has said in its appeal.

The PCB filed the appeal on behalf of its chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad against the judgment given by IHC judge Justice Shaukat Aziz earlier this week on a constitutional writ petition filed by former coach of the Army cricket team, Nadeem Suddle.

Suddle had challenged the elections of Zaka Ashraf as the chairman of PCB in May which led to the court stopping him from working as PCB head and the government appointing Najam Sethi as acting chief of the Board in late June.

But the IHC in its detailed judgment not only declared illegal the election of Zaka Ashraf as PCB chairman but also stopped Sethi from exercising full powers and declared all decisions taken by him as null and void.

It also ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold fresh elections for the PCB chairman’s post within 90 days, besides passing some other directives which stipulated the inclusion of a journalist, commentator, and cricket enthusiast on the national selection committee and the complete audit of the Board accounts of the last five years by the Auditor General of Pakistan.

The PCB in its appeal said that in the petition of Nadeem Suddle there was no mention of the authorities of acting chairman for conducting the administrative affairs of the Board.

It maintained that it was beyond the jurisdiction of any court to give the Election Commission any responsibility in such a case.

“We have maintained in our petition that the court verdict would result in the suspension of the Board activities. The national team would be unable to participate in international contests, if selection committees were not constituted,” the Board’s legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi said.

“And Pakistan’s failure to fulfill international commitments, might also result in the suspension of its membership,” he added.

The petition said the Board would also be unable to sell the broadcasting rights if it was deprived of complete authority.

The petition further stated that the court had set a 90-day deadline for the election of a new chairman. However, it was impossible to hold fresh polls in such a short time as in many regions and districts the tenures of the office bearers had been completed, many office bearers were working on an ad hoc basis and many cases were in courts.

“There are bleak chances of the completion of the electoral college in the near future,” it said.

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