PCB's letter to PM a 'breach' of norms

IPC Ministry unhappy with PCB's attitude; takes up matter in strong words with PCB authorities

The logo of the PCB can be seen on the boards building. — PCB/File
The logo of the PCB can be seen on the board's building. — PCB/File

  • PCB COO's letter to PM Shehbaz a "breach of norms": sources.
  • Subordinate department moves through concerned ministry.
  • Move could have far-reaching consequences in future.

ISLAMABAD: The authorities in Islamabad are unhappy with the letter the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) wrote directly to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif last month to seek the federal government's clearance to participate in the World Cup, The News reported Monday.

In doing so, they have bypassed all protocols laid down, the authorities claim, as they took up the matter with board officials exerting all the powers at that time.

A highly-placed source told The News that the letter written by PCB Chief Operating Officer (COO) Salman Naseer to PM Shehbaz was a breach of norms.

The standard procedure in this matter is that a subordinate department moves through the concerned ministry to seek permission or to update the highest authority on the matter, where his approval is required.

The concerned ministry then moves a summary of the prime minister's decision.

This procedure, however, was disregarded as the PCB wrote directly to the PM.

The News has learned that the Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Ministry was unhappy with PCB's attitude and has taken up the matter in strong words with the PCB authorities.

Moreover, the sources say that Nasser was informed about the misadventure, which will likely have far-reaching complications.

"We have taken up the matter with the PCB COO and have conveyed our displeasure. The government rules clearly bar officials from directly communicating with the prime minister.

There is a set procedure that was not adopted in this instance. We have communicated our displeasure and will look into what we can do more to this effect," a leading Ministry official said.

It is worth mentioning here that former Election Commissioner Ahmed Shahzad Farooq Rana was heading the PCB on June 27 following the expiry of the Temporary Management Committee.

PCB's letter

The prime objective of the letter, a copy of which was also shared with the Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Interior, was to get the government's clearance to participate in the World Cup to be hosted by India.

In the letter sent on June 27, the PCB also sought the government's advice on the venues. The ICC has earmarked five venues for Pakistan – Ahmedabad (vs India, October 15), Hyderabad (vs both the qualifiers, Oct 6 and 12), Bengaluru (vs Australia on October 20 and New Zealand on November 5), in Chennai (vs Afghanistan on October 23 and South Africa on October 27), and Kolkata (vs Bangladesh on November 5 and England on November 12).

If Pakistan reaches the semi-final, it will play in Kolkata. The final will be held in Ahmedabad on November 15.

"It is entirely up to the Government of Pakistan on the process it wants to formulate and follow before advising us on the next steps. If this requires sending an advance team to India to inspect the venues and hold meetings with the event organisers, then it will solely be the government's decision," a PCB spokesperson had remarked.