Islamabad, Oct 13 (IANS): Zaka Ashraf, the newly appointed chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), said his top priority is to uplift the national team's status in the world besides reviving international events at home.
Ashraf was appointed the head of the PCB Tuesday night by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, the chief patron of the Board.
Talking to mediapersons here, Ashraf said: "I will work day and night to live up to the president's expectations and pay back the confidence he has placed in me."
He further added that his main target was to select the team on merit and try to improve relations with other international cricket boards so they can send their teams to Pakistan for matches," Xinhua reported.
Ashraf, a banker-cum-businessman, replaced the controversial Ijaz Butt, whose tenure ended Saturday.
The PCB chairman is appointed for three years. It is the most powerful post in Pakistani sports as it controls millions of dollars worth of events at home and abroad.
Pakistani cricket fans long demanded that an experienced cricket professional be appointed to the post but most times, businessmen or retired army officers are given charge of the PCB.
For Ashraf, the biggest challenges ahead will be to enforce discipline in the national cricket and convince other international teams to visit Pakistan.
The cricketing nations stopped sending their teams to Pakistan after the March 3, 2009 incident when millitants attacked the bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team to Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium.
Six Sri Lankan players and two officials were injured in attack, in
which eight Pakistanis, including six policemen, were also killed.
The tour was cancelled and the team immediately flew home