Pakistan Cricket Board: Najam Sethi pads up as interim chief

Published: June 24, 2013

Najam Sethi’s initial task include finalising the U19 team for the England tour before he moves onto the national team and other matters. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: 

Seasoned journalist and former Punjab caretaker chief minister Najam Sethi has vowed to make sincere efforts to improve the state of Pakistan cricket ‘till the time’ he is chairman after being appointed the interim chief of the country’s cricket board yesterday.

Sethi, who agreed to take over the post after being asked by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, replaces Zaka Ashraf following the latter’s suspension as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The IHC, hearing a petition filed against the ‘undemocratic and unconstitutional’ election of Ashraf as PCB chairman, upheld the suspension and directed the Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) ministry to appoint an interim chief last week. In response, the IPC proposed the names of former captain Majid Khan, cricket analyst Chishty Mujahid and former Federal Board of Revenue chairman Mumtaz Haider Rizvi for the post.

‘No instant overhaul’

The appointment of Sethi started making the rounds early yesterday, which was later confirmed by the senior journalist himself.

However, Sethi has his work cut out. The 65-year old takes over at a time when the nation is licking the wounds of the Champions Trophy failure in England. The team finished at the bottom after losing all its matches, prompting critics to demand an overhaul in the PCB set-up, team management, selection committee and even the playing-eleven. Issues ranging from unpaid salaries of regional and national players and the selection of U19 team also need instant chairman-attention.

However, Sethi, in an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune, said that an overhaul in the PCB set-up was not part of his initial plan.

“There are a lot of pending issues that demand instant action,” said the new interim PCB chief. “The selection of the U19 team for the England tour is pending because it requires the chairman’s signature. The selection process for Pakistan’s tour of the West Indies also needs to start and many matters such as those demand attention right away.

 “I will also look to work on bringing things in order — the matter of the constitution and holding an election as soon as possible. It’s not an appropriate time to make an overhaul. I will formulate an extensive report and a decision will be taken in the light of it.”

‘Will take ICC into confidence’

Although Ashraf’s election was questioned by all the major associations including Lahore and Karachi, the process was held under the new constitution that was welcomed by the International Cricket Council (ICC). However, the sport’s world governing body has maintained silence throughout the episode — from the time Ashraf was suspended to the appointment of the interim chief. Sethi, who will now represent the PCB at the ICC meeting this week, said he will look to take the governing body into confidence. “I will assure them that everything will be done as per its guidelines.”

Sethi to raise Amir’s issue  

Sethi said he will also bring up the case of Mohammad Amir, the Pakistan fast-bowler serving a five-year ban due to his involvement in the spot-fixing case.

“There should be a soft corner for the young fast-bowler and I’ll speak to the ICC about it.  I will also look in to the matter of Danish Kaneria who is also fighting a life-time ban while the other one involved in that matter did not suffer as severe a punishment.

“My aim, till I remain at the helm, will be to work in the interest of our cricketers and the betterment of the game.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Anonymous
    Jun 24, 2013 - 1:22AM

    Goodbye Imran Farhat!

    Recommend

  • sehr.siddiqui
    Jun 24, 2013 - 3:09AM

    Amir and kaneria are guilty of crime and do not deserve any protection. Being young is no excuse. Do not promote corruption please. By your logic young killers and attackers also need a soft treatment.

    Recommend

  • furkan awan
    Jun 24, 2013 - 4:06AM

    Seriously the worst decision ever , Once again !Recommend

  • ahmed
    Jun 24, 2013 - 7:50AM

    why not Majid Khan the guy who knows something about the subject at hand?

    Recommend

  • vishu
    Jun 24, 2013 - 9:33AM

    Good to see Najam sathi in the post, how it would perceive to the national interest in feature and would take up P.M. post to give better pakistan to the world

    god bless you Sathi saab…

    Recommend

  • RizwanKhan
    Jun 24, 2013 - 10:48AM

    Benefit of being in good books of politicial. Yet again an disappointing decision.

    Recommend

  • antanu
    Jun 24, 2013 - 3:52PM

    @sehr.siddiqui:
    I believe like anormal human being you would have also committed many follies. so what….you don’t desrve another chance? rubbish… a punished aamir may prove to be a role model in future… he must be given a chance… we should not play GOD… even HE. keeps forgiving us.

    Recommend

  • Amir
    Jun 24, 2013 - 8:57PM

    Najam Seethi has some very deep connections with the president of Pakistan who is the patron of the board and other politicians. He is a tv talk show host and first he gets to be the caretaker governor of Punjab and now this. He has no administration background. It would have been better to place an educated and internationally respected(they are rare in Pakistan) cricketer like Zaheer Abbas, Ramiz Raja or the likes of Wasim Akram as the temporary chairman.
    I am seriously surprised how these politicians reward these journalists based on personal relationships or because these journalists promote these politicians or because of blackmail.

    Recommend

  • Alfarooq Kemal
    Jul 2, 2013 - 12:05PM

    Najam Sethi may be a good journalist but he is misfit for the post of PCB Chairman he need to be removed a.s.a.p; We had too many politically selected favorites like him in recent past for this lucrative post!! and all of them proved good for nothing ………..

    Enough is enough!! Now we need a professional person of cricketing background, someone who would be above of petty politics and bring back glory to the national team.

    Recommend

  • zainish khan
    Jul 16, 2013 - 4:43PM

    najam sethi is veryyyyyyyyyyy sincere towards his work and towards the betterment of his nation,,,,,,, so he deserves the chair

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