‘Powerless’ Sethi to make Caribbean cruise to keep check on national team

Interim chairman rues lack of authority, but says he will go to the West Indies.

Fawad Hussain July 10, 2013
Sethi said he will go to the West Indies to scrutinise the Pakistan cricket team on tour. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Despite being an interim chairman and himself stressing on ‘lack of authority’ to take major decisions, Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) new chief Najam Sethi believes he is capable enough to keep a check on the national team’s performance by visiting the Caribbean.

Pakistan are due to contest a limited-overs series – five One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20s – against the West Indies with Sethi, appointed the PCB interim chief after the suspension of Zaka Ashraf, making a visit to the Caribbean.

The announcement was made after the PCB Governing Board meeting yesterday.

“I asked the board about the pros and cons about visiting the West Indies,” said Sethi, following the meeting at the PCB headquarters in Lahore. “They said that I should go and see the team’s performance and make myself aware of the problems and issues there. Keeping this in mind, I have decided to make the trip that will last five to six days.”

Ironically, the chairman, who will make the team assessment, was unaware of his powers as he was showered with questions on the formation of the new selection committee, this year’s PCB budget or a possible change in the team management that comprises highly-paid foreign coaches.

Sethi said his role would become clearer after the court order.

“We are waiting for the detailed high court orders. I don’t want to take decisions that may get challenged. We’ll tackle these issues after my empowerment.”

On the new budget, Sethi said, “The [recent] Sindh High Court orders restrict me completely. But I’ve asked the chief financial officer to prepare a strong budget by cutting the board’s expenditure.”

However, the chairman’s announcement was not welcomed by a former cricketer.

“Will his tour be free of cost?” asked the former player. “What will be the use of his trip if his status is unclear? He’s doing what former chairmen did.”

Meanwhile, among the highlights of the meeting, a new code of conduct for the governing board members and match officials was approved.

The discussion on the sale of television rights was also
carried out and the board approved taking assistance from former International Cricket Council president Ehsan Mani on an honorary basis. The discussion on improving the state of domestic cricket also took place.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2013.

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Aamer | 10 years ago | Reply

What qualifies Mr. Sethi to hold this post? He has no understanding of cricket (as per himself!) has no experience of handling/running large organizations. His only qualification is shameless self promotion.

Sohrab Karboy | 10 years ago | Reply

@Fudge: My main issue, and the reason for my comment, was the inference inherent in the news report that somehow Najam Sethi was taking this trip and causing unnecessary expenditure to PCB, and therefore there is a hint of dishonesty on his part. I do not know enough about the functions and workings of PCB to comment on the necessity, or a lack thereof, of Mr. Sethi's trip. I do know however, having read accounts during the last many years of his family vacations abroad, that he does not need, and being a man of integrity, will not unnecessarily subject, a public body with expenses of personal nature.

While we, as a public, need to be vigilant about public officials' expenditures, we should also be careful about not subjecting them with false accusations and innuendos, based on hearsay, and attributed to unnamed sources. Truth and honesty should be virtues that a civilized society should strive for and be beholden to at all times. Be well.

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