PCB’s new ethics code brings Urooj Mumtaz Khan under scanner

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has introduced a new code of ethics with clear-cut clauses as a result of the rising scrutiny on multiple roles of various stakeholders and potential conflicts of interest in those roles. This new code could have an effect on the likes of Urooj Mumtaz, head of the women’s wing, Misbah-ul-Haq, senior men’s head coach and chief selector and Wasim Akram, a member of the cricket committee.

The code is extended beyond the roles within the PCB and includes those involved in any business activity outside the board, either themselves or through members of the family. Under the new code, all employees will have to submit a declaration form to the board after which the information will then be assessed for potential conflicts of interest. The PCB could designate its ethics officers Salman Naseer, COO of the board, and Areeba Khalil, from the PCB’s legal department, to conduct further investigation depending on the information provided.

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Mumtaz, head of women’s cricket, currently holds two additional roles with the PCB. She is a member of the board’s cricket committee while also doubling up as the chief selector of the women’s team. However, it was her commentary stint during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) that raised several eyebrows. In the past former cricketers like Ramiz Raja and Aamer Sohail faced conflict of interest allegations for their commentary stints while holding posts with in the PCB.

Current men’s head coach Misbah too might have to face the investigation for his roles as the head coach of a PSL franchise when the new code comes into place.

Akram, too, could come under the scanner for his role as the president of PSL franchise and having stakes in a website that holds the digital rights for PSL.

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Conflict of interest issue has been rife over the years within the PCB. In 2003 Gen Tauqir Zia, then PCB chairman, resigned because of the allegations about his son’s selection in the Pakistan squad. Inzamam-ul-Haq was removed from the PSL drafting committee while has was the chief selector of the senior men’s side because of his involvement with one the franchises.

Ehsan Mani, PCB chairman since 2018, has been outspoken about the need to have a uniform policy regarding the issue of conflict of interest. An earlier version of the code was limited in nature and was applicable mainly to those in the role of Board of Governors. The new ethics code covers everyone working in official capacity within the PCB and the PSL.