Zaka Ashraf replaces ‘controversial’ Ijaz Butt as PCB chief

 Zaka Ashraf replaces ‘controversial’ Ijaz Butt as PCB chief Karachi, Oct 12 : Pakistan cricket followers have finally let out a sigh of relief following the replacement of Ijaz Butt, who completed his three-year tenure as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief, by noted banker Chaudhary Zaka Ashraf.

Although a formal notification from the President’s office is yet to be issued, Ashraf confirmed his appointment and told Aaj TV that his priority was to improve Pakistan cricket’s image after a series of scandals.

I’ll work day and night to live up to the president’s expectations and pay back the confidence he’s placed in me,” Ashraf was quoted as saying.

He said he would select players on merit and try to improve relations with international boards.

Ashraf was a member of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Central Executive Committee when he was named Zarai Taraqyati Bank Limited (ZTBL) chief three years ago, and is also a former chairman of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association, as well as a close friend of President Asif Ali Zardari.

Meanwhile, ZTBL’s press officer Israr Ahmed Kasana also confirmed the appointment.

“The new chairman’s prime target is to revive our lost status,” The Express Tribune quoted Kasana, as saying.

Ashraf’s appointment follows weeks of speculation surrounding Butt’s replacement, ending his tumultuous stay in office, termed by many as the worst for Pakistan cricket.

His appointment may also see the return of former captain Shahid Afridi to international cricket.

“Ashraf is not a fan of controversies and will woo back players who can still contribute to Pakistan cricket,” said Kasana. (ANI)

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