Pakistan cricket chief Ramiz Raja has been sacked just days after the national team suffered a humiliating Test series defeat at the hands of England, according to a government notice seen by AFP Thursday.
Appointments to run the sport in the cricket-mad country are highly politicised, and responsibility lies with the prime minister and cabinet.
England wrapped up the third Test on Tuesday to hand Pakistan their first-ever 3-0 home series clean sweep.
But a change had been on the cards since April, when Imran Khan – a former national captain – was ousted as prime minister and replaced by Shehbaz Sharif.
Raja, a member of Khan’s 1992 World Cup-winning side, was appointed chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board in September last year.
A government notice seen by AFP said Sharif’s cabinet had dismissed Raja, and the PCB would now be run by a 14-member committee headed by Najam Sethi, who has twice served as chairman.
The committee also includes Shahid Afridi and Sana Mir, former captains of the men’s and women’s teams.
The government notice also said the current constitution of the board has been scrapped, and one dating from 2014 revived.
The committee will have 120 days to change the constitution and elect a new chairman.
“The cricket regime headed by Ramiz Raja @iramizraja is no more,” Sethi tweeted Thursday.
“The 2014 PCB constitution stands restored. The Management Committee will work tirelessly to revive first class cricket.”
Khan came under fire for changing the PCB’s constitution in 2019 – in particular for abolishing the role of government departments and private entities in first-class cricket, leaving hundreds unemployed.
In his tweet, Sethi said “thousands of cricketers will be employed again”.
“The famine in cricket will come to an end,” he said.
Raja was not immediately available to comment, but sources said it was likely he would contest his removal through the courts.
The shake-up comes as New Zealand arrived Thursday for a tour that will include two Tests and three one-day internationals.