Pakistan govt appoints new PCB secretary

ISLAMABAD (AP) A government official has been appointed secretary of the Pakistan Cricket Board with the task of reducing its number of employees.

Irfanullah Khan, a legal adviser in the ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC), told The Associated Press on Saturday that Amir Tariq Zaman, additional secretary for sports in the ministry, will take charge next week.

Khan says the appointment is in line with the Islamabad High Court order which instructed the IPC to remove all superfluous officials on the cricket board. The court said 68 employees were appointed unnecessarily during Zaka Ashraf's 20-month period as the PCB chief.

Najam Sethi is the interim chief of the PCB and has until Oct. 18 to conduct fresh elections.

"We will visit PCB headquarters early next week where we will meet top officials of the cricket board," Khan said.

"Our task is not only to reduce the employees, but also recover money from them which they received from the cricket board during their employment period."

The PCB has around 900 employees all over the country, who work at various regional cricket associations and at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

Last month, the cricket board reportedly approved a budget of 3 billion rupees ($29 million) and will be facing a deficit of 500 million rupees in the year 2013-14.

The deficit is mainly because the PCB has not been able to host any major international team for the last four years after gunmen attacked the team bus of Sri Lanka, killing six police officials and a van driver.

The reshuffling at the top of the PCB took place earlier this year when Ashraf got himself appointed for the next four years, triggering a challenge in the Islamabad High Court .

The court not only suspended Ashraf but asked the interim chief to conduct fresh elections and look into the day-to-day affairs of the PCB. However, it stopped Sethi who was appointed by prime minister Nawaz Sharif from taking any major decisions such as the appointment of the selection committee.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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