Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf is contemplating suing his successor, Najam Sethi for defamation after he was accused of not accounting for 20 million rupees spent during his 22-month tenure and also of gross mismanagement.
A source close to Ashraf told PTI that the ousted chairman had been consulting his lawyers over the issue as he was very upset with the allegations of misuse of funds and mismanagement being made out against him by Sethi and the present managing committee of the board. (Also read: Zaka Ashraf Denis Reports of Bookie Approaches to Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal)
"He has also consulted his close aides including former captain Aamir Sohail and he is now seriously thinking about filing a separate case against Sethi for defaming and launching a smear campaign against him," the source said. (Also read: Pakistan to probe missing 200,000 dollars during Ashraf's tenure)
Ashraf remained chairman unhindered from late 2011, but since May 2013 he and Sethi have been in and out of the PCB chairman's post due to legal complications and Ashraf since January has twice been reinstated by the Islamabad High Court and then removed to make way for Sethi.
The Sethi-led managing committee earlier this week held a meeting in which it said an inquiry should be held into the spending of around 20 million rupees during the tenure of Ashraf which were not accounted for. (Also read: Ashraf reinstated as PCB chairman, turmoil rolls on)
Even before that, the Sethi-led board had released an internal audit report of Ashraf's tenure in which he was accused of mismanagement and misuse of funds.
The audit report claims Ashraf spent money from the board coffers on luxury and on travel and is also accused of using board money to purchase tickets for the Champions Trophy in England for his friends and relatives.
Ashraf denies he misused or mismanaged board funds and said this was a smear campaign against him by Sethi and company.
The PCB after its management committee meeting said in a statement that it took note of the outstanding arrears of approximately 20 million rupees detailed in the internal audit report for the period Ashraf was chairman," the statement said, adding the committee would attempt to recover the sum.
"Tickets worth of 759,047 rupees ($7,600 dollars) were bought by the PCB and there is no record of whom they were given to. Another 2.5 million rupees ($25,000) were spent during the Champions Trophy 2013 on tickets, again without records of the beneficiaries," a part of the internal audit report said.
Sohail said that he was surprised at the way Ashraf was character assassinated.
"If there is any issue fair justice demands that first he should be given a chance to explain himself and make himself clear. But the board has tried to defame him by releasing an internal audit report. Wouldn't it be better if an external audit was also carried out," he said.