PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani
Following questions by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly on Wednesday Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani admitted that there were financial irregularities during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 1 and 2.
“There indeed were financial irregularities in PSL 1 and 2 but this matter is with the committee now,” he told reporters in Islamabad. “This matter will be investigated. Whatever the truth may be, will be revealed.”
Mani also touched a variety of subjects, defending PCB’s conduct during his tenure as opposed to what was done during his predecessor Najam Sethi’s times.
“Cricket teams are coming to Pakistan after 10 years but no one appreciates that,” he bemoaned.
“We did not pay even a rupee to any player of any team to come here. In the past, West Indies players were paid to visit Pakistan.”
Regarding the Board’s legal battle over the PSL’s financial model, Mani pinned the blame on the franchises themselves.
“I had told PSL franchises in the beginning that their financial structures were not right,” he said.
The PCB chair was expected to hold a meeting with head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, Test captain Azhar Ali and veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez this week for bypassing the Board and airing their grievances to Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding the new domestic cricket structure. The meeting could not take place due to the National T20 Cup but Mani hinted that the trio may not be out of the woods yet.
Misbah-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali and Mohammad Hafeez met the prime minister without permission. This is PCB’s disciplinary matter and will certainly be looked into,” he said.
Mani also reiterated that PCB’s stance on conflict of interest, saying: “Misbah and others have been told clearly that they will have to leave their other jobs.”
PCB remains accountable; Mani had no answers: Senator Rehman
Meanwhile, Senator Sherry Rehman, following Mani’s appearance in the PAC, reminded the PCB chairman that he was answerable and accountable to the authorities on how the PCB spends its monies.
She said that Mani was “unable to respond to any query” in front of the committee and kept on saying that he was “autonomous”, which she said evoked “a storm of questions and rejoinders”.
“AGPR (Accountant General Pakistan Revenues) and I informed him he is answerable to the government,” she explained.
“It’s accounting procedures and, therefore, it’s rules. It is not above law.”