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Chief executives of Central Punjab and Northern announced

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The Pakistan Cricket Board took another step towards its objective of decentralisation of country’s cricket and instilling a corporate culture in the six Cricket Associations with the appointment of chief executives for Central Punjab and Northern.

Mr Abdullah Khurram Niazi, a former first-class cricketer who played 11 matches from 2001-03, has been appointed as the chief executive of the Central Punjab Cricket Association. Along with playing the sport, Mr Abdullah also has administrative experience of the game at the grassroots level. He holds a master’s degree in Economics from Punjab University, Lahore and has an 11-year experience of serving in the public sector and before that he worked in the private sector from 2007-09.

Mr Najeeb Sadiq, who has been appointed as the chief executive of the Northern Cricket Association, is an expert in institutional management and holds two master’s degrees in Information Sciences and Business Administration. Mr Najeeb complete his post-graduation in Information Sciences from University of London in United Kingdom in 1989 after completing his MBA from University of Peshawar in 1987.

Mr Najeeb is an executive director at ZTE Corporation, a leading telecommunications company, and serves on boards of various IT-related corporations.

These two appointments have been made for three years following a robust recruitment process, which started in April when the PCB attracted applications for the positions. Their responsibilities will include curating strategies for effective management of day-to-day activities, establishing protocols to ensure efficient utilisation of resources for the growth and promotion of the game by creating strong networks at the grassroots, supervising the first registration of Cricket Clubs under each City Cricket Association as per applicable regulations/bylaws, and monitoring and organising cricket events and activities within the respective jurisdictions.

These appointments have been made after the first boards of the six CAs were notified in the 61st PCB Board of Governors meeting on 28 February.

Central Punjab Cricket Association Chief Executive Mr Abdullah Khurram Niazi: “I am honoured to be a part of the Central Punjab Cricket Association. I have always been a cricket enthusiast, and taking up this position at the CPCA has provided me with a perfect opportunity of playing a role in the development of cricket in the country after the much-desired revamp of the domestic structure.

“I have joined this organisation with the ambition to grow the game by providing a solid structure at the grassroots. My focus is to involve the community and establish links between cricket and educational institutions to help the age-group cricket flourish.

“I aim to introduce a self-sustainable model of cricket in Central Punjab. We will have a number of tournaments, which will be organized at club, community club and City Cricket Association levels. 

“At Central Punjab, we will ensure the highest level of transparency and introduce corporate governance practices to ensure the best management of resources, whether financial or human.”

Northern Cricket Association Chief Executive Mr Najeeb Sadiq: “I have been extremely lucky to have the privilege of playing cricket across the globe and thereafter working in leadership roles in multinational organisations. However, nothing felt as exciting as getting the opportunity to work as part of Pakistan Cricket Board and serve as the chief executive of the Northern Cricket Association. I played cricket at grassroots here and know my region inside out.

“This is an opportunity for me to play a role in the promotion, development and growth of the sport I love. I look forward to work under the leadership of our chairperson, Mr Saleem Asghar Mian, who is not only an accomplished cricketer but a top bureaucrat as well.

“My ambition is to establish Northern as the biggest nursery of cricketers in Pakistan. We cannot produce cricketers without cricket fields. The better the grounds the higher the standard of cricket becomes. I want to add maximum first class grounds and cricket nurseries in our regional cricket infrastructure. 

“I will fine-tune my plans through the guidance of two Test cricketers in the board. While maintaining focus in the urban cricket centres, I want to look towards the toughest terrains and tallest mountains to promote cricket in the underdeveloped areas.

“Transparency, merit and accountability will remain core of the governance at the NCA and we will create an environment that encompasses honesty, integrity, self-belief and hard work. I also want to ensure that we create job opportunities for the cricketers and cricket-related personnel.”

The chairpersons of the two CAs welcomed the chief executives and expressed full support to them to undertake the initiatives for the promotion of the game.

Central Punjab Cricket Association Chairperson Mr Abdullah Khan Sumbul: “I am pleased to have Mr Abdullah Khurram Niazi as the chief executive. He has vast understanding of the game and the desired administrative experience in both public and private sector from which Central Punjab will surely benefit.

“Our team consists of cricket enthusiasts who are working day and night to sustain the interest of the masses in the game and Mr Abdullah is a great addition to it. We at CPCA will always strive to ensure that the relevance of cricket stays afoot amongst the masses. The CPCA Board will provide the chief executive with all the support and assistance.”

Northern Cricket Association Chairperson Mr Saleem Asghar Mian: “Mr Najeeb Sadiq is a person of immense talent and I welcome him to the Northern Cricket Association with great delight. He boasts a vast experience in business management which will surely help us in establishing NCA as a strong and effective body.

“Mr Najeeb has the fullest support of the board and we are sure that by joining hands we, together, will ensure that the NCA makes an ever lasting impact on cricket not only in the region but the country.”

 The announcement of the chief executives of the remaining four CAs will be made in due course.