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‘Guidance’ sought from PM Sharif
- ICC issue pcb heads to patron

Nawaz Sharif

Calcutta: Zaka Ashraf, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, has sought an audience with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to seek his “guidance” on the controversial proposals which will be taken up by the sport’s apex body early next week.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) meets in Dubai between January 27-29.

A cricket enthusiast, Sharif is the PCB’s patron. Earlier, till the “18th amendment” to the country’s constitution, the President used to enjoy that status.

Till late on Wednesday, however, Sharif’s office in Islamabad hadn’t scheduled an appointment.

It’s to be seen if Ashraf’s recent reinstatement by a court order (division bench of the Islamabad High Court) has something to do with the delay.

Apparently, the inter-provinces coordination ministry, which looks after matters of sport at the federal level, is seeking to challenge Ashraf’s reinstatement.

That’s the buzz in Pakistan.

Hand-picked by Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s President till last September, Ashraf had to give up the chairmanship following an order from a single bench of the Islamabad High Court.

That almost coincided with Sharif storming back to power, last summer, but he had no role in the litigation which stung Ashraf.

Till the recent court order, Najam Sethi, known to be close to Sharif, had been the PCB’s interim chairman.

“The chairman has sought an audience with the Prime Minister after a decision to that effect was taken by the PCB’s board of governors, which met in Lahore last Saturday,” revealed a top source of The Telegraph.

Till now, only Cricket South Africa has publicly slammed the ICC for the proposals, put together almost exclusively by India, England and Australia.

Should the proposals be supported by seven of the 10 Test-playing nations, the ICC will change in just about every respect, with all the powers resting with India, England and Australia.

Officially, the PCB’s stand is that “every option is being explored.”