Shehbaz Sharif, the Pakistani Prime Minister and patron of the board, has officially started the process to have Ramiz Raja removed from his position as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board. Days of rumours over the future of the current board will soon come to an end when a new 14-member committee led by Najam Sethi and composed of former Pakistani cricketers Shahid Afridi and Sana Mir is presented to the Pakistani cabinet for approval.
Since Imran Khan was dismissed as prime minister in April of this year, Raja’s viewpoint has been supported by little evidence. In September 2021, Raja, 60, was elected unanimously and without opposition as the board’s 36th chairman after suggesting his former teammate for the PCB Board of Governors (BoG). Pakistan advanced to the semifinals and finals of two T20 World Cups under Raja’s leadership, participated in the Asia Cup final, and welcomed Australia and England to their shores, which marked the official resumption of international cricket in Pakistan. Pending a legal vetting of the change, Raja will be replaced by Sethi, who has served as the head of PCB in multiple positions between 2003 and 2018. He was also the first chairman of the Pakistan Super League and oversaw the conception of the league in 2016. His committee will now have a four-month period during which they’ll be tasked with restoring the PCB constitution to its 2014 version.
Ramiz Raja Removed as PCB Chairman
The constitutional revision was mostly done to reinstate departmental teams like WAPDA, PIA, and SNGPL in the nation’s elite circuit. The Imran Khan-ratified version of the constitution in 2019 eliminated the departments that had previously been connected to the sport in the nation in order to streamline the cricketing structure into six regional sides, mirroring Australia’s: Northern, Sindh, Central Punjab, Balochistan, Southern Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. While the original move to abolish the historic structure in domestic cricket had its merits, the PCB was also criticised for the move for it rendered several cricketers employed by these departments jobless in a beat.
Although rumours of a change have grown since the team’s 3-0 whitewash by England in the recently finished Test series, Babar Azam’s status as captain of the senior men’s team is unlikely to be compromised by the management restructure just yet. Azam has been selected to captain the squad for the upcoming New Zealand series, and it is assumed that he will do so well into the new year despite the fact that historically in Pakistan cricket a change in PCB leadership is followed by new leaders in the team.