ISLAMABAD: A resolution has been moved in the upper house of Parliament to shift the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) headquarters from Lahore to Islamabad.The resolution was presented by Senator Sardar Muhammad Azam Khan Musakhel. In the resolution, Musakhel recommended that the PCB headquarters be shifted to the country’s capital as it a “symbol of State”.
“The House recommends that in order to remove sense of deprivation from smaller provinces, the PCB office may be shifted from Lahore to Islamabad so that a strengthened federation becomes certain. Otherwise the Pakistan Cricket Board offices may be established in other provinces also, offering an opportunity to each of them to represent, for a three months period, on turn basis,” the resolution said.
Muskhel was of the view that PCB offers 5,000 posts which are filled by the residents of Lahore with nearly no representation from other provinces.However, according to ESPNCRICINFO, an investigation revealed that PCB is presently being run by 530 full-time and contractual employees from all the parts of the country. Many of the top-tier posts were filled by representatives from Sindh while district and regional staff is picked from the region to run day-to-day affairs.
The debated was convened for an hour on the topic with Leader of the Opposition Aitzaz Ahsan also giving his observations on the issues. He said, according to ESPNcricinfo, that there are many implications of shifting cricket board to Islamabad so the matter should be passed on to the Senate’s devolution committee.Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani subsequently referred the matter to Senate’s 14-man functional committee which is headed by Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo
“A lot of discussion has been made here by the resolution mover and I think the subject matter should not be a viewed in isolation. It involves conceptual thoughts and a collective conceptual decision should be taken by all the concerned stakeholders – federation, provinces and the body itself. It would, I believe, serve the cause of federalism in Pakistan if this collective decision is taken and I find no better committee than functional committee of the senate on devolution to look into this matter,” said Rabbani, as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
Another senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi said: “It would be great if my friend [the resolution mover] talked about merits [of it], and performance should be the centre of discussion. He should have pointed out if there is any inefficiency in Punjab. It’s not like the previous government made the headquarters in Lahore, it has been there for decades and has a lengthy history.”
The PCB was formed in May 1948 and recognised at international level in 1952. In the start, there was no office to function out of for PCB and everything was stores in a trunk. Until 1972, the headquarters was in Karachi, mainly because Karachi was capital city and had a well-developed stadium by 1954-55. Later it was moved to Lahore when Pakistan’s first official captain, Abdul Hafeez Kardar, became president and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto came to power and ample money was invested to build an office at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium, a comparatively a lavish and fully developed building within a Test cricket centre.