Mohammad Zaka Ashraf, the new PCB chairman, is due to take charge on Monday, ten days after his appointment was confirmed. Ashraf has been winding up affairs in his former job as chairman of the Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) but his relative silence on cricketing matters since his appointment has increased the sense of enigma, especially in contrast to the colourful and controversial regime of Ijaz Butt.
When he does take charge, Ashraf will find a pretty full in-tray left by his predecessor. At the international level, Ashraf's job will be to win some credibility back for the PCB, handle the results of the spot-fixing case currently on in London and also balance out the various lobbies in the ICC in Pakistan's best interests. His immediate task will be to negotiate with the Bangladesh Cricket Board over the choice of the vice-president's candidate for the ICC. ESPNcricinfo understands that while the PCB is currently involved in internal turmoil, the BCB has already begun working on firming up its choice.
Butt's tenure exposed the loopholes in the PCB's administration, with the power of the chairman being exercised and exposed with dramatic consequences. There is an anxiety in the PCB offices because the new broom may want to sweep clean, starting with key personnel within the selection committee, the post of director of international cricket - currently held by Intikhab Alam - and the Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmed. Zaheer Abbas, who was keen on Ashraf's job, is said to be a leading contender for the COO's job with Basit Ali finding his way on to the selection committee. The important job of head coach of the national team will perhaps be the single most discussed decision early on in his tenure.