PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi appointed Pakistan’s interior minister

PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi has been appointed the Federal Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control. Naqvi will not relinquish the PCB chair to take up the position, continuing his role at the helm of the Pakistan board concurrently. This is not the first time Naqvi will juggle political and cricketing duties: last month, when he was elected PCB chairman, he was also serving as the caretaker chief minister of Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province.

Naqvi, who last week told Pakistan cricketers he did not want to see politics seep into cricket, said in a statement he was “committed to supporting and serving our nation in every possible way”.

The dual role is likely to raise eyebrows, but based on past precedence, the PCB believes any violation of the its own constitution has not occurred. When the PCB election commissioner Khawar Shah briefly took over the caretaker chairmanship, he defended Naqvi holding two roles, saying the board’s rules forbade a chairman from holding an “office of profit” concurrently, and argued that Naqvi did not. The PCB has privately maintained that since Naqvi says he will not draw a salary from his role at the Interior Ministry, the same line of reasoning applies.

While the ICC, in theory, does take a dim view of political interference in its Members’ cricketing affairs, they have clamped down on it only sporadically. ESPNcricinfo understands the ICC do not consider this political interference, and do not intend to get involved. There is precedence when it comes to board chairs holding ministries elsewhere on the subcontinent. Sharad Pawar served as BCCI president when he was also India’s Minister for Agriculture, while the current BCB chairman Nazmul Hasan serves as Bangladesh’s Minister of Youth and Sports.

In the past, the ICC has maintained to ESPNcricinfo there needs to be a complaining party for the it to get involved to assess whether political interference has occurred at a cricket board. That was the case when, in the recent past, Zimbabwe Cricket and Sri Lanka Cricket were briefly suspended.

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