KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is expected to carry out an audit of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and all three editions of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), a well-informed source told the media on Thursday. The development is likely to take place after the arrival of the new chairman.
According to details, the new Federal Finance Minister Asad Umar has suggested a detailed audit of PCB and all editions of the PSL by SBP.
The source further added that the finance minister wants the SBP to conduct the audit in the same manner as they conduct for the other banks. The PCB chairman will be elected on September 4 and as soon as he takes the charge, he is likely to call a meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG) where the finance minister’s suggestion is likely to be approved. It is important to mention here that the audit of PSL’s first two editions was already carried out by Auditor General of Pakistan on the suggestion of the National Assembly Committee.
In that report, significant discrepancies have been revealed, where few major contracts were awarded without publishing a proper call for tenders, which led to heavy financial losses for the cricket board. The report further stated that many appointments on important positions were based on favouritism while production and ticketing matters were not handled properly.
The selections of Naila Bhatti — Director Marketing — and Usman Wahla — General Manager International Cricket Operations — were specifically mentioned. The audit raised questions over their appointments as far more qualified individuals were available to take up those roles.
It must be noted that Bhatti — who enjoyed a close relationship with former PCB Chairman Najam Sethi — was appointed as a director despite holding only a bachelor’s degree which is against the rules and regulations of PCB.
The sources further stated that the audit pointed out unnecessary expenses during the local and foreign visits made by the board officials whereas there were also reservations over salaries and bonuses given to certain employees. The massive amounts spent on organising opening ceremonies were another major cause of concern.