Ramiz Raja’s days as PCB chairman could be numbered as moves begin to remove him

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The stage is being set for the removal of Rameez Raja as PCB chairman, who is likely to be replaced by former board chief Najam Sethi, who resigned after Imran Khan became the country’s prime minister in 2018. Had given

However, the process of doing so is legally complex, although one way it is possible is to revert to the PCB constitution as it was in 2014. For the return of departments like PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) and other banks in the domestic cricket scene. Those departments were removed from the departments established by the Imran government.

The bigger, immediate change, however, will be the end of Rameez’s tenure, ending a presidency that began in September 2021 on grounds that a former cricketer was best positioned to handle cricketing affairs in the country. But his future is almost uncertain since Imran and his government were ousted in April 2022 in divisive circumstances following a no-confidence motion in the country’s parliament. This change is still underway in the country’s political landscape but, unusually, the impact on the PCB was negligible. Normally, with a change of government, a change in the administration of the post of Chairman of the Board is considered inevitable and immediate – it is a matter of if not then. But as the new government, with a vast coalition of multiple political parties, worked its way through the country’s most pressing priorities — not least a spiraling economic crisis — Ramiz stayed under the radar and remained in position.

Since then, speculation that this is about to change has been almost constant, although it is only now that there has been movement at government level, a momentum gained following the historic 0-3 defeat to England at home to Pakistan. a run that now includes the Test team losing four consecutive Tests at home for the first time in the country’s history and not winning any of the six home Tests played in 2022.

Rameez has taken a far more hands-on role in cricketing matters during his tenure and as a result has been more closely involved with the team’s results than, for example, his predecessor Ehsan Mani. Weighed against this will be the fact that he has overseen the completion of two of the most high-profile tours of Pakistan in a decade – by Australia and England – and has been in charge when Pakistan have made it to the semi-finals and final. Consecutive men’s T20 World Cup and Asia Cup finals.

But there are difficulties in how Rameez can be removed. The Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that it is acting on instructions from the country’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to restore departments to the game and bring back the 2014 board constitution, which is the board’s guardian. are also It is also believed that the Prime Minister has some names in mind – including Sethi – that he can directly appoint the PCB Board of Governors, as is his prerogative. One of those appointees is usually elected as the board chairman – constitutionally, there is an election to become the chairman, but in practice, this is a mere formality: the prime minister essentially appoints the chairman.

As it stands, the current PCB constitution – enacted by Mani in 2019 – does not contain any provision that allows the PM/Patron to withdraw or remove the existing chairman. The only way a president can be removed is through a vote of no confidence by the governing board, which requires a three-quarters majority. Normally, if the patron wants the president to change, it is unusual for the incumbent to stay, but it is unclear whether Rameez – who has expressed no desire to step down – is in the mood to resign. In 2018, when Imran was elected as the Prime Minister, Sethi resigned, allowing Imran to bring in Mani. Similarly, Mani refused to seek an extension last year after completing his three-year term, paving the way for Imran to nominate Rameez. If Rameez refuses to step down and there is no no-confidence motion against him, the constitution does not seem to outline a clear procedure for his removal.

Apart from the chair, the key mandate by the government is to bring back the departments which, in theory, will allow hundreds of players to return to the first-class pool through jobs in these departments. That change in domestic structure was insisted upon by Imran himself, who had long wanted Pakistan’s domestic scene to mimic a provincial model of Australia’s, with six teams made up of Pakistan’s provinces playing in all tournaments.

But with Imran’s exit, a group of former board members has started urging the government to go back to the previous domestic structure in which departmental teams like WAPDA, SNGPL and PIA were part of the first-class circuit. The PCB has been criticized at various intervals for its move to scrap departmental cricket, a move that has left hundreds of cricketers jobless in one fell swoop. But it is worth noting that many departmental parties had already shut down their sporting operations before Imran took charge and in the current economic climate, there may not be much desire for banks to hire squads of cricketers.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent

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