Stories about Zaka Ashraf

Given PSL’s success, Najam Sethi is our only hope to bring cricket back to Pakistan

While Ali Sethi managed to save the first episode of Coke Studio season 10 with a beautiful rendition of Ranjhish Hi Sahi, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recalled his father, Najam Sethi, as PCB’s new chairman. It was clearly a great week for the Sethi family.  But this is not the first time Sethi has found himself at the helm of PCB’s affairs. He has competed with Zaka Ashraf for the position in the past as well, which definitely caused a lot of embarrassment for Pakistan on the international front. Sethi generally garners animosity from the masses because of his affiliation with the Sharifs and the absence of ...

Read Full Post

Is it too risky to host the Pakistan Super League final in Lahore?

“A dream is only a dream until you work hard for it, because when you do, the dream becomes a reality”. In February, 2016, one such dream became a reality; the Pakistan Super League (PSL) was finally a force to be reckoned with. What former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman, Zaka Ashraf, saw only as a probability became a reality with the efforts of Chairman Executive Committee, Najam Sethi, and his team. One of the main reasons as to why the PSL came into being in the first place was as a strategy to attract worldwide attention in the hopes that ...

Read Full Post

Are ICC and PCB bowing down to BCCI, again?

It was in June 2011 when the International Cricket Council (ICC) made certain amendments to their rules. These rules clearly stated that cricket boards which are found to have political interferences will be sacked immediately. This rule was introduced to free the sport from undue government influence. However, the question remains, where was this rule when it came to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)? Well, had it been applied then, Indo-Pak cricketing ties would have never been in jeopardy. BCCI tends to cross its limits and continues to bring political interests in the field of sports. At first, they suspended cricket ties with Pakistan after terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008, and have ...

Read Full Post

Is PCB capable of hosting an IPL-level league in Pakistan?

While Nasim Ashraf sowed the seeds for Pakistan Super League (PSL) earlier in 2008, Zaka Ashraf watered them, and enabled them to grow further in January 2013. Not only that, he also spent millions of rupees to develop it. However, every time he would get closer to launching the league, something would go wrong and the dream of having Pakistan’s own league would shatter away. This time, Najam Sethi and Shahryar Khan have revived plans of restructuring the league and launching it again in 2016. But this is being done without a concrete vision in mind. There were quite a few serious steps taken ...

Read Full Post

Zimbabwe’s visit to Pakistan: Dawn of a new era?

“Daarhion ne phir marwa diya hai” (The beards [bearded men] have gotten us into trouble again) These were the first words I heard on a dreary school morning as news of the attackon the touring Sri Lankan team made the headlines. A desolate shroud enveloped Zinda Dilan-e-Lahore as news broke that the bus carrying the touring Sri Lankan cricket team was fired at by a coterie of Kalashnikov toting ‘na maloom afraad’ in broad daylight. The nearby elite would hear of such incidents up in the agencies next to the Afghan border and seldom, the Taliban types would make it as far as Peshawar, but a gun massacre somewhere as central ...

Read Full Post

Learn from the BCCI, Pakistan, don’t hate on it!

High school is all about hierarchy. You have the cool kids who set the trends and everyone else is a follower. And then you have the drama geeks, the science club and the kid with the braces and the asthma pump who watches as teams are picked and groups are made but he is left watching from the sidelines.  Welcome to the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Pakistan cricket team and the wonder of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). This year marks the seventh season of the IPL, six of which have excluded Pakistan. The BCCI has tactfully managed ...

Read Full Post

Musical chairs: Who will lead the PCB?

In Pakistan, summers are always colourful. Especially during the months of May, June and July when schools are off and people are on their semester breaks, cities are filled with summer camp programmes, outings, picnics and gastronomic delicacies. Pakistan cricket also seems to be enjoying the summer fling in full throttle by engaging in many games, though none of them are outdoor ones. Recently, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s famous game of musical chairs has made many headlines and caught the attention of different groups. This game started way back in May 2013 in the aftermath of Pakistan’s general elections, when the newly ...

Read Full Post

Free the PCB from government intervention

If Saturday was a black day in the history of international cricket, Monday was much of the same for Pakistani cricket. On Saturday, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) lost out in its opposition to the proposal of structural reforms in the International Cricket Council (ICC) enforcing the ‘Big Three’. If that was not enough of a setback, the government decided that this was the right time to remove the chairman of the PCB, Mr Zaka Ashraf for the second time in eight months and replaced him with – yes, you guessed it – Mr Najam Sethi. While this development is ...

Read Full Post

PCB: The mother of all evil in Pakistani cricket

Although Pakistan’s cricket team has seen victories, cricket in Pakistan seems to be on a downward spiral. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has taken many steps including the hiring of a foreign coach, but all steps taken by the board have failed to boost the team’s performance. Pakistan’s Bilawal Bhatti (2nd L) celebrates the win with teammates during the first ODI cricket match between Pakistan and South Africa at Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town on November 24, 2013. Photo: AFP In my view, this decline can be attributed to weak personalities regularly appointed to run the PCB, who ...

Read Full Post

Zaka Ashraf’s hold on the PCB isn’t democratic

The day Zaka Ashraf, the former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), orchestrated the elections to get himself elected for four years the apprehensions started to creep and the reason was pretty straightforward. First he handpicked the Board of Governors (BoG) by leaving out the cricket nurseries like Karachi and Lahore, and then ‘obviously’ got elected.  Zaka Ashraf introduced Larkana and Dera Murad Jamali to the BoG at the expense of Karachi and Lahore and the reason was fairly clear – he wanted to secure votes. As expected a flurry of court petitions paved the way for an intervention ...

Read Full Post