Restored Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi declared that he is on a mission to put things back on track in the board and will step down once he achieves the target.
The Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the reinstatement of Zaka Ashraf, which was heard by a three-member bench headed by Justice Anwar Ali, while Asma Jahangir represented the IPC.
After listening to both concerned parties, the Supreme Court suspended the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) decision to restore Ashraf as the PCB chairman for an interim period, and the next hearing of the case will be held on May 27.
“I have been working day and night since the last year in PCB; I take it as a mission,” said Sethi. “I will leave it as soon as possible once the constitution is approved and elections are held in the board.
“Those people who want this to be a game of musical chairs have received the message after this decision. We should be allowed to work and there should be no hindrance and stain on the stability and performance of the board.”
Additionally, the Management Committee was also reinstated until the next hearing, while all the decisions taken by Sethi have been declared valid. Meanwhile, Ashraf’s decisions, which included the induction of former PCB Chief Executive Officer Arif Abbasi as chief consultant, have been suspended.
PCB legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi, who was also restored on court’s orders, explained that the Supreme Court’s decision will be binding upon all parties.
“The Supreme Court orders are binding upon everyone,” he said. “Whatever the decision, it will have to be accepted by all parties,” he said.
Sethi to review termination of employees
Sethi stressed that he is willing to review the applications of sacked employees.
“I have received applications for reviewing,” the chairman told The Express Tribune. “I will examine them fairly without compromising the PCB’s core interests.”
Asma Jahangir said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is the patron-in-chief of the PCB and it is his domain to decide who will run the show.
“The IHC intervened in the domain of the chief executive, despite knowing that it is his prerogative as to who will have the power to run the PCB,” she stated.
On the other, Abbasi, the suspended chief consultant to Ashraf, opined that the game is suffering due to continuous changes at the helm and people must keep Pakistan’s interest above personal interest.
Meanwhile, Ashraf pledged that he will not succumb to the pressure and will keep fighting.“It is not a decision but a stay order and we will be vigorously pursuing this case because I am the legally elected chairman of the board,” Ashraf told reporters in Lahore.
Ashraf said he would personally state the facts before the apex court, adding that Pakistan cricket needed stability and a clear direction.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2014.