Senate grills PCB again, Khan under fire

Published: Wednesday, July 21, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad:Even as the Pakistan cricket team entered a crucial phase of its Asia Cup campaign in Sri Lanka, the Senate standing committee back home continued its probe into the affairs of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the recent home defeat to India.

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan had a tough time answering the Senators whose tone of questioning ranged from demanding to threatening.

The issues on which the committee quized the PCB chief included the resignation of Board treasurer Muhammad Naeem, a revamp of the constitution, the audit reports of the team managers for the last two years, local daily Dawn reported.

In the absence of chief executive Rameez Raja and chief selector Wasim Bari being tight lipped, Khan was in the direct line of fire.

Khan initially maintained that Naeem had withdrawn his resignation. But he was cornered by Senator Muhammad Enver Baig and had to admit that the PCB treasurer had resigned.

"His resignation is with me but I have taken no action," Khan was quoted as saying.However, when Baig specifically asked if the letter of withdrawal had been given in writing by the treasurer, he gave up.

The chairman of the committee, Senator Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry, also confronted Khan on the subject of PCB constitution.

"The constitution commission has its own schedule of working. Come rain, hail or storm, we want a cut off date," demanded the Sanator that led to Khan agreeing to give a final date after talking to Justice Karamat Bandhari.

Khan was also told to give all his answers to questions posed in the last meeting and the latest one in detail. The PCB chairman promised to cover both meetings in detail and send in his answers to the committee by July 28, the daily said.

Khan, who admitted that mistakes were made during the hurriedly organised India series, told the committee that the PCB planned to conduct an audit of accounts. "The audit will also cover ticketing," he reportedly said.

Senator Zafar Iqbal said that ad-hocism in the PCB should end and welcomed all the suggestions made by the committee. He announced that the next meeting of the committee will be held on Aug 10, again in Islamabad.

Meanwhile, Senator Baig handed over a four-page questionnaire to the PCB officials seeking answers on a host of issues, including no action being taken against Rameez for doing commentary, and the salaries and perks being given to the foreign coaches and experts recently hired, the report said.

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