But with Imran gone, speculation has grown around Ramiz’s future; traditionally, any changes of government have led to a change of PCB chairman. And the new premier Shahbaz Sharif, who automatically assumes the position of patron of the PCB, is thought to be weighing up options to replace Ramiz.
Imran was removed from power on April 10, in divisive circumstances, after a vote of no-confidence in parliament that he had initially tried to dismiss. Parliamentarians from his PTI party (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf) have since resigned en masse from parliament and party appointments in various state institutions are being gradually removed or replaced.
The new government, a coalition of parties that came together to remove Imran, are jostling over the formulation of a new cabinet and though cricket is not the highest priority, it is thought they will eventually get to changes in the board.
As is often the case, a number of different names as replacements are doing the rounds. Najam Sethi, the former board chairman and a Sharif family ally is among the more prominent ones (though Sethi is thought to be closer to the former PM and elder Sharif brother, Nawaz, rather than Shahbaz).
The change at the top might not be the only one. With Imran’s exit, a group led by former board members has begun urging the government to go back to the previous domestic structure in which departmental teams such as SNGPL and PIA were part of the first-class circuit.
Constitutionally, the Prime Minister of the country, as the PCB’s Patron-in-chief, nominates two members to the PCB’s governing board. The two then come through an election to become chairman, but in practice, this is a mere formality: the PM essentially appoints the chairman.
The position isn’t based on any set criteria though the PCB constitution requires the PM to name someone who is at least a graduate and isn’t convicted for any offences including fraud or corrupt practices.
No provision in the constitution allows the patron to withdraw the sitting chairman. The only way a chairman can be removed is through a vote of no confidence in the governing board, requiring a 3/4th majority. But generally, if the Patron wants the chairman changed, it is unusual for the incumbent to stay on. When Imran was elected PM in 2018, Sethi himself resigned and allowed Imran to bring in Ehsan Mani.
In the last three terms, every new chairman has amended the constitution after taking power; the present constitution was implemented in 2019 and was the fifth since 1995 and the fourth in the last 15 years.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent