New PCB chief to look into board`s financial affairs

Karachi: Newly-appointed interim PCB chairman, Najam Sethi has been given the task of looking into the financial affairs of the board after reports emerged that lot of money had been squandered away in the last two years.

A source aware of the developments in the board after the appointment of Sethi today, said that since Zaka Ashraf took over as Chairman of the board the financial position of the board had declined considerably.

"At the moment the board has total cash flow of around three billion rupees in its bank accounts compared to five billion rupees two years back," the source said.

Ashraf was stopped from working as Chairman of the board by the Islamabad High Court in May after he got elected under the new constitution of the board.

Sethi has been appointed interim Chairman on the directives of the IHC which has also said that he should represent Pakistan at the ICC annual board meeting in London next week.

The source said that when Ijaz Butt had completed his tenure as Chairman of the board in October, 2011 he had left behind a strong bank balance. "He also informed the media about this," he recalled.

Butt had also made it clear that the board would also earn around six billion rupees more in 2012 from the proposed Indo-Pakistan one-day series and its share from the ICC for the World T20 Cup.

The interesting thing is that even the first class cricketers of the regional teams have complained of not being paid their monthly retainers for the last six months for the last domestic season.

The source said the financial position of the board was not healthy since while the revenues were not strong despite getting around three million dollars from its share of the World T20 Cup, the board had been spending a lot in many areas.

"The fees being paid to head coach, Dav Whatmore and the other coaches is hefty while the players have also been given pay increases in last one years while the board also spent a lot on having its first PCB annual awards, on the Pakistan super league secretariat and on completing the cricket stadium in Larkana," the source said.

"To be honest the suspended Chairman was pretty open handed when it came to spending money one example being the USD 25,000 fees paid to former ICC chief executive, Haroon Lorgat to work as advisor in the PSL secretariat," the source noted.

"Even on the day the IHC suspended him as Chairman and obviously it was known it wouldn`t serve any purpose to have the general body meeting in Karachi, yet officials of different regional associations flew into Karachi and were put up at a five star hotel," he noted.

The source said that number of new employments had also taken place in Ashraf`s tenure which put a burden on the board`s coffers.

"The fact that the PCB didn`t earn a single paisa from playing the one-day series in India in December didn`t help the situation at all," the source said.

He said Sethi had been told to prepare a detailed report on the financial affairs of the board on priority basis and he was expected to meet with the financial managers/advisors and auditors of the board soon.