Shaharyar Khan takes over as new PCB chairman

Karachi: Former Pakistan foreign secretary, Shaharyar Khan on Monday formally took over as the new Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Shaharyar became the first elected Chairman of the PCB, although last year in May, Zaka Ashraf had declared himself as the first elected Chairman of the board but the Islamabad High Court later declared his election as null and void, and so did the Supreme Court.

Ashraf`s election triggered off a period of uncertainty and musical chairs in the board with Ashraf and the government nominated Chairman, Najam Sethi being in and out of the Chairman`s post several times due to litigation issues.

The acting chairman and chief selection commissioner of the board, Justice (retd) Sair Ali announced the election of Shaharyar through a notification stating that a special meeting of the Board of Governors had elected him.

Justice Sair said that except for Shaharyar no one had filed nomination papers for the post and the Board of Governors unanimously elected him as Chairman in the absence of any opposing candidate.

Shaharyar has also remained Chairman from 2003 to 2006 before he was replaced by Nasim Ashraf after the tour to England.

A career diplomat, Shaharyar was at the helm of the board when the Indian team toured Pakistan for a full Test series in 2004 after 14 long years.

Shaharyar, 80, who has also served as high commissioner in New Delhi and also went as manager of the Pakistan team to India in 1999 and the 2003 World Cup, is on the Board of Governors as a nominee of the government.

"Basically the indications are clear that the government wanted Shaharyar to contest the elections because there is lot of emphasis on improving relations with India and they also want the two countries to resume bilateral series as soon as possible," a PCB official said.

"With his experience of dealing with the Indian government and cricket officials and his success at normalising Indo-Pak cricket relations, Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif clearly has faith in Shaharyar that he will be able to convince the Indians to resume bilateral ties late this year or next year for sure," he said.

The PCB has already signed a MoU with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023 with the first series to be hosted by Pakistan in late 2015.

"But the PM is keen the series is played earlier than late 2015 and that apparently is a big reason for bringing back Shaharyar as Chairman of the board," the official said.

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