Tauqir offers ‘complete assistance’ to new chairman: Musharraf appoints Shahryar new PCB chief
By Muhammad Ali
LAHORE: The patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), President General Pervez Musharraf, appointed former manager of the Pakistan cricket team Shahryar Khan as PCB chairman on Tuesday. He replaces Tauqir Zia, who resigned last week after four years in the job.
Ever since Tauqir’s resignation, speculation was rife over whether the President would appoint an armyman or a former cricketer to the coveted post. But neither seemed to have found favour with Musharraf as was evident in his selection of the non-controversial veteran diplomat. According to sources, Musharraf finalised the name of Shahryar for the high profile office after lengthy discussions with his aides. Shahryar was Pakistan team’s manager during the 2003 World Cup but after the tournament he was relieved of his responsibilities by Tauqir.
A statement from the President’s office said: “While accepting the resignation of Tauqir Zia, President Musharraf in his capacity as the patron has been pleased to appoint former Foreign Secretary Shaharyar Khan as the new chairman. The President paid rich tributes to the contribution of the outgoing chairman for his services for the uplift of cricket in Pakistan and rebuilding of the Pakistan cricket team. Musharraf stated that the outgoing PCB chairman’s contribution would be remembered in the years to come. Musharraf expressed the hope that the chairman designate of the PCB would strive to uphold the excellent traditions set by his predecessors and that Pakistan cricket would benefit from his leadership and vast experience.”
Shahryar takes over after a rocky period which saw the PCB incur large financial losses following a bomb explosion in Karachi last year. It led to New Zealand cutting short a tour, and Test series against Australia and the West Indies were played at neutral venues. Tours have now resumed, with Bangladesh, South Africa and New Zealand visiting the country in recent months.
Meanwhile, Tauqir was given a farewell dinner yesterday where he met the New Zealand-bound Pakistan cricket team. “I spoke to Shahryar over telephone in the afternoon and congratulated him. We have worked together during the time we were preparing for the World Cup and I find him an extremely knowledgeable person. As he has been with the team on a couple of occasions, he understands the players well and their requirements. He has the passion for cricket which will certainly make him a successful administrator,” Tauqir said in a statement. “He will be in the cricket headquarters before December 14 to attend a briefing. He has also expressed his desire to attend my farewell which is very nice of him. I am grateful to him for that. I offer my complete assistance to him as and when required. I wish him all the best in his future assignment and pray from the bottom of my heart that he succeeds. His success will be the success of the game which we love so dearly,” added Tauqir.
Profile of Shahryar Khan
Born: March 29, 1934 in Bhopal
Education: Royal Indian Military College, Dehra Dun; secured honours degree in law from Cambridge University and masters degree in international affairs from Fletcher School, Boston
Served as Foreign Secretary, Ambassador, High Commissioner.
Diplomatic career: Between 1957 and 1994
Sporting background: Shahryar Khan comes from a distinguished sporting family. His grandfather Nawab Hamidullah Khan was India’s leading polo player, and his mother Princess Abdia Sultaan was an outstanding polo and hockey player. The Nawab of Pataudi senior was his uncle and Nawab of Pataudi junior his first cousin.
Shahryar Khan is member of the MCC, and has played most of his cricket in England, captained Pakistan Wanderers and also played for Wimbledon CC, the leading cricket club of Pakistan.