By Sarmad Ali
A former Pakistan Cricket Board staffer and journalist Asif Sohail has drawn the attention of its new chief Ehsan Mani towards some of the officials entrenched in the organisation that they try to win over whosoever is at the helm.
Giving example of some names like
Subhan Ahmed, Asad Mustafa, Saqib Irfan and Maqsood Ahmed who he says consider that if they are disturbed the whole Gaddafi Stadium would fall and cricket would hugely suffer.
“They are habitual of presenting false briefings, wrapped in sweet words, to every incoming chairman. They always survive amid courtesy of the Establishment (that matters) whom they have obliged in every stadium in Pakistan during the international cricket matches.”
Asif further says the rise of Subhan Ahmed, the incumbent chief operating officer of the PCB, is inconceivable and baffling.
Asif further says the rise of Subhan Ahmed, the incumbent chief operating officer of the PCB, is inconceivable and baffling. “With his humble education this intriguer/huger-mugger started his career as a typist in the PCB. After being transferred to Lahore from Karachi he learned the art of buttering and showing a wily smile on his face.”
Asif who remained associated with The News International further says every chairman inherited this antique from the archives of the PCB. “Now allegedly owner of a big Farm House in the border area of Lahore, Subhan has been successful in given false impression to every incoming chairman that if he was disturbed the whole PCB would be dysfunctional. This is a highly misleading perception and the time has come to eliminate it.
The secret of Subhan’s exploits lies with his wonted nature of a thorough YES MAN and BACK-BITER. Having worked under Khalid Mehmood, Tauquir Zia, Shaharyar Khan (twice) and Nasim Ahsraf, he has mastered in the art of treachery and buttering up every chairman. He successfully maneuvered and got double promotion from burly Ijaz Butt, known for his broken promises and innumerable U-turns.”
“Had Subhan correctly informed the PCB chairman about the new ICC policy regarding suspect bowling action, Pakistan could have avoided ban on Saeed Ajmal.”
The journalist further says from GM International Cricket he was designated COO of the PCB bypassing Zakir Khan who was his (Subhan) boss as Director International Cricket. Ijaz Butt actually wanted to remove Zakir when he assumed office in the PCB on 8th October, 2008 along with Salim Altaf and this scribe but instead gave him (Subhan) double promotion just to humiliate Zakir Khan.
That whimsical decision caused irreparable loss to Pakistan cricket. During musical chair show between Zaka Ashraf and Najam Sethi, two strangers in the Board, Subhan exploited their court battle tactfully and emerged as the most powerful official of the PCB until shrewd Sethi won the war courtesy to convicted Nawaz Sharif, the then self-appointed Patron-in-Chief of the Board.
“If we look around the cricket world, David Richardson, the chief executive of the International Cricket Council, has announced that he will step down from his job after the 2019 World Cup in England. Richardson, a former wicket-keeper batsman of South Africa, joined ICC in 2002 and served the world governing body with distinction.”
The former PCB media person, Asif says Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland has also announced his intention to quit next year. He has given a 12 months’ notice to CA which has appointed an executive search agency, Egon Zehnder, to find his replacement.
“During Sutherland’s time the CA’s financial growth was enormous. Some of the major changes included the formation of the Big Bash League in 2011, the start of day-night Test cricket in 2015, and major increases in broadcast rights deals in 2013 and this year.”
That whimsical decision caused irreparable loss to Pakistan cricket. During musical chair show between Zaka Ashraf and Najam Sethi, two strangers in the Board, Subhan exploited their court battle tactfully and emerged as the most powerful official of the PCB.
He said both Richardson and Sutherland served their organizations diligently. What Subhan has given to Pakistan cricket in his almost nine years as COO of the PCB? He has remained a regular participant of the ICC meetings since his days as general manager of international cricket. After attaining the coveted post of COO, he was a permanent participant of the ICC Executive Board, the decision making body.
Sadly, he is solely responsible for Pakistan’s multiple failures in the ICC. In recent years he misinformed the PCB chairman about the proceedings of the ICC on the issues of Big-Three, new rules for suspect bowling action.
“During the ICC meetings, Zaka Ashraf noticed Pakistan’s loss in the backdrop of emerging Big Three and took a strong stand after lobbying with South Arica, Sri Lanka, the Wet Indies and the Sri Lankan Cricket Boards. Had Subhan correctly informed the PCB chairman about the new ICC policy regarding suspect bowling action, Pakistan could have avoided ban on Saeed Ajmal.”
He said Arif Ali Khan Abbasi, a former chief executive of the PCB, built a beautiful cricket stadium at the Arabian Sea Country Club at Karachi where all kind of facilities of international standard were provided. “He requested the PCB to award a first-class match to his ground. Subhan didn’t respond. Arif Abbasi, is generally considered godfather of Subhan whom he protected when his (Subhan) PCB job was in danger.”
Asif says Subhan is in the PCB since ages. He has mastered himself in the arts of sycophancy and treachery and excelled others in pleasing the Boss. “Over the years he has reaped a loyal crop of Russian spies not only at the PCB headquarter but wherever the PCB holds its sway in the country.
Through these spies he decides the fate of the PCB employees. His two-faced nature has destroyed the career of many PCB employees who could have been assets for the organization. He is a certified poodle of the world cricket governing body and is brilliant in looking after his personal interests. He doesn’t have the knack to win support of various cricket Boards or raise his voice at the ICC level for the resumption of international cricket in Pakistan.”
The former PCB staffer further says many are wondering that whether it would be a routine change of command or Ehsan Mani will bring a real CHANGE in the Board. “Imran Khan has persistently vowed in his long political struggle, particularly in his general elections-2018 campaign, that his government would bring a visible change in the country. Since cricket is his childhood love they expect a real change in the PCB bureaucracy as well.” — Pak Destiny