Pakistan news October 21, 2013

Court sets Nov 2 deadline for PCB election

ESPNcricinfo staff

The Islamabad High Court has directed Pakistan's election commission to hold the election for a new PCB chairman by November 2.

The court was hearing an appeal on a case of alleged contempt against Sethi, who according to the petitioner had failed to comply with the order to conduct elections by the previous deadline. The PCB argued that the election commission had refused to hold the board elections despite repeated correspondence, and that the electoral collage was incomplete because of various legal problems with regional cricket associations. The court, however, has now ordered the election to be held irrespective of other issues.

The election commission had earlier been reluctant to conduct the PCB elections but today they expressed their willingness to do so before the court.

The order is the latest in a series of developments that began with the court's judgement on a constitutional writ petition challenging the election of the previous PCB chairman, Zaka Ashraf, who was then suspended and replaced temporarily by Najam Sethi for a 90-day term. When Sethi, a senior journalist and former caretaker chief minister of Punjab, had his powers curtailed, the court had set a deadline of October 18 for the PCB to hold fresh elections. The PCB, however, wasn't able to comply with the deadline.

On October 15, the prime minister of Pakistan and new patron of the PCB, Nawaz Sharif, dissolved the governing board of the PCB, and formed a five-member interim management committee (IMC) to administer cricket. Sethi‚ former chairman Shahryar Khan, former players Zaheer Abbas and Haroon Rasheed and former team manager Naved Cheema were appointed to the committee.

The IMC had been directed by Sharif to elect one of its members as chairman, and the committee unanimously chose Sethi, who had been acting as caretaker chairman since July. The IMC wanted to hold off elections to allow time for various local cricket associations to resolve outstanding legal issues but Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui ordered the Election Commission to press ahead with the poll.

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