Will Ramiz Raja resign as PCB chairman?

M Muzamil Asif
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja. — PCB/File
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja. — PCB/File

KARACHI: As PTI Chairman Imran Khan was voted out as prime minister, a major change is expected in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

In-charge PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja has reportedly decided to step down and will resign once Shehbaz Sharif takes oath as the 23rd prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

According to PCB's constitution, its patron-in-chief (Pakistan's PM) recommends the chairman's name to the board of governors who vote for the candidate.

However, over the years, the PCB chairman changes with a change in the federal government.

In 2018, when Khan made his government, the then PCB chairman Najam Sethi was replaced by Ehsan Mani immediately. A possible change in PCB's office is expected this time around too when Shehbaz takes charge of the PM office.

We talked to a couple of senior journalists about Raja's future as PCB chairman, here's what they said;

Abdul Majid Bhatti — senior sports journalist

"PCB's chairman has always been a political appointment in Pakistan. We have seen this often, a change in federal government brings a new PCB chairman," the journalist said.

"There are a lot of examples about it. In 2008, when Pervez Musharraf resigned, the then PCB chairman Naseem Ashraf stepped down immediately after a few hours. Similarly, Sethi was removed from this post when Khan took charge as PM," he recalled.

While sharing some insights from Raja's last meeting with Karachi journalists during Pakistan vs Australia second Test, Bhatti disclosed that the chairman had already made up his mind following political unrest which was building up then in the country.

"A journalist asked him, 'Will you resign if Khan's government is sent home?'," he shared.

"Ramiz was convinced that Khan wasn't going anywhere but in case of his ouster, the chairman said 'I will not take a minute to resign'," he disclosed.

Faizan Lakhani — senior sports journalist

"It will not be something new if PCB chairman gets changed with the change in the federal government," Lakhani said with his experience.

"It's a norm in PCB, PM, who is patron-in-chief, nominates his candidate for the chairmanship. There is a democratic process to elect PCB chairman through the board of governors but unfortunately, the patron-in-chief pin point his candidate and make him the chairman," he stressed.

The journalist shared his conversation with PML-N leaders Miftah Ismail and Ahsan Iqbal during a Twitter space session.

"I got a chance to ask PML-N's Miftah Ismail and Ahsan Iqbal about PCB chairman as they are expected to be in government next. So, they indirectly indicated towards a change and said they will make a decision on merit," he narrated.