KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi has vowed to leave his post as the head of the cricket affairs in the country than compromising over ‘dignity and honour’.
Speculations surrounding future of Sethi has intensified since the General Elections 2018 concluded, where Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PT) emerged as the single largest party.
Sethi and Khan had a tricky relation ever since 2013 elections, where the latter accused the former for rigging in the province of Punjab where he was working as the caretaker chief minister.
Sethi filed a defamation case against Khan following the allegations and it was expected that if the 1992 World Cup-winning captain becomes the next prime minister, heads will roll in the PCB.
And the 70-year-old confirmed while talking to Daily Express that he is ready to go home if the new government don’t want him to continue as the head of PCB.
“I will only work with dignity and honour,” said Sethi. “If I feel like the new government does not want my services, I will go home without a second thought. I don’t know about the current status myself. All I want is someone from the government to come and let me know if they want me to continue as the head of PCB or not. If their response is they don’t want me here, I will go home.”
He added: “I won’t hide it that I am under pressure from sometime as there is uncertainty about my future, and that is the case inside the PCB as well where things are coming to standstill.”
Sethi is being credited for the success of starting the Pakistan Super League (PSL), a project which looked a dream before his arrival in the cricket board, and the Kasur-born journalist shared his concerns regarding the future of Pakistan’s own cash-rich T20 competition.
“I am just genuinely worried about the future of PSL,” he said. “It is going through an important transitional phase in my opinion and it needs stability. Any uncertainty will lead to reduction in financial benefits we can have from the league’s broadcasting rights, title sponsorships and other deals.”
Talking about why he hasn’t resigned from the post himself post PTI’s victory in the elections, Sethi said: “One of the reasons is PSL as I feel like a lot of work has to be done to make it more stable. I don’t know how other people will take this product forward. Then there is an ongoing $70 million compensation case against the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as well. These are the things which are making me stay as I don’t want to go with things hanging in the middle.”
Sethi’s wife Jugnu Mohsin — also a journalist and now an elected MPA in Punjab —has expressed her desire in a talk show that she will support the party in power in the province, but the former PSL chairman believes it will have no connection with his position as the head of the cricket affairs in the country.
“We’ve four family members and all of them have their separate identity,” said Sethi. “So if my wife votes for PTI, it will make no difference to me and I won’t have a say in it. My family was never happy with me joining the PCB in first place. I’ve never discussed anything with her about the resignation but maybe she is feeling herself that a big decision is coming.”
Sethi, who is famous for his blunt political views, went on to clear that he is eyeing a return to TV show, whereas he also complained that he did not received the kind of support from the media as we he was expecting.
“I don’t work according to the situation but I just do what I feel is right,” he said. “I am going to start my political show in the near future as well. Also, I must admit that I’ve not received the kind of support from the media which I was expecting. A lot of people say I did a good job, but not many are coming out and supporting me publically.”