Banker Ashraf appointed PCB chief in place of Butt

Lahore: Ending days of speculation, President Asif Ali Zardari today appointed noted banker Zaka Ashraf as chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board in place of Ejaz Butt.

In a notification issued late in the evening, Ashraf was named new chairman of the Board, replacing Butt who completed his three-year tenure on October 8.

Butt had returned from Dubai yesterday after attending the executive board meeting of the International Cricket Council.

Ashraf is known as an ardent cricket follower who as president of the Zarai Taraqyati Bank (ZTBL) regularised jobs of cricketers in his bank.

A senior Board official confirmed that the government had issued a notification with regard to the appointment of the new PCB chairman but he had not seen it as yet.

"Under the constitution any one appointed as Chairman automatically has a three-year term," chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad told reporters.

Ashraf is said to be a close friend of President Zardari as both studied together at Petaro College and stayed in the hostel.

Ahmad said Butt attended office today but left soon.

"He was pre-occupied and left early. Indications were that he had been informed about the change by the Presidency," Ahmad said.

Butt`s three-year tenure has been dodged by controversies and scandals and will be remembered for the infamous attack by militants on the Sri Lankan team in March 2009 which led to foreign teams boycotting playing in Pakistan.

His tenure was also hit by the spot-fixing scandal last year in England when three Pakistani players -- Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir -- were caught for allegedly bowling no-balls for money.

The ICC later banned the trio for their involvement in spot-fixing and they are now also facing criminal charges in a court in London.


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