KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has nominated former batting great Zaheer Abbas for the International Cricket Council (ICC) presidency – a day after Najam Sethi withdrew his candidature for the one-year stint.
Last year in September, the ICC had asked the PCB to nominate an ex-cricketer for ICC president for 2015-16. Pakistan suggested the name of Sethi to take over from Bangladesh’s Mustafa Kamal for a period of 12 months from July 1, 2015. Kamal had resigned in April over some controversial umpiring decisions in a World Cup match which led to the ouster of his country from the tournament.
Former PCB chairman and governing board member Sethi was all set to become the ICC president this month, but he withdrew his name, reportedly, after the cricket authority in its board meeting decided to only consider former cricketing greats as ICC presidents from 2016 onwards.
On Tuesday, PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan and the Board of Governors approved the nomination of Abbas, who served as the principal adviser to Sethi, when the latter was heading the PCB.
Known in the cricketing world as the Asian Bradman, Abbas played 78 tests for Pakistan between 1969 and 1985 scoring 5,062 runs at an average of 44.79 with the help of 12 centuries and 20 fifties. He also scored 2,572 runs in just 62 ODIs at a healthy average of 47.62. He is one of the few players in the world to have scored over 100 first-class centuries.
“Zaheer Abbas deserves this nomination after all that he has done for Pakistan over the years,” Sethi said while talking with The Express Tribune. “I excused myself from the post because Pakistan’s next turn for the ICC presidency would have come after 10 years. I felt it was better to have a legendary cricketer take over the post from this term.”
Sethi added that the former player possessed the personality and the knowledge to serve the ICC well. “I feel Zaheer never got the same amount of international recognition enjoyed by the likes of other cricket stars. So finally he is getting the recognition he deserved.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2015.
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