Pakistan news

Najam Sethi named PCB's interim chairman

Umar Farooq

June 23, 2013

Comments: 28 | Text size: A | A

Pakistani journalist Najam Sethi speaks after receiving the Golden Pen Award, Hyderabad, December 1, 2009
Najam Sethi is a renowned Pakistani journalist © AFP

Najam Sethi, a senior journalist and former caretaker chief minister of Punjab, has been named the interim chairman of the PCB by the government of Pakistan. Zaka Ashraf, who was elected as chairman in the first week of May, was suspended from the post by the Islamabad High Court on May 28 due to questions raised over legality of the election.

"I have been asked by the prime minister [Nawaz Sharif] to fill in, in the PCB role, for an interim period," Sethi told reporters in Lahore. "My immediate task will be to cover the ICC meeting and facilitate the selection committee for the selection of the squad for the West Indies tour."

The Islamabad High Court had later upheld Ashraf's suspension and ordered the Pakistan inter-provincial coordination committee to name an interim chairman to represent the board at the ICC's annual general meeting in England, which is scheduled for June 25 to 29.

Sethi will take over as chairman with immediate effect - from Monday. He will leave for London, for the ICC meeting, on Tuesday with PCB COO Subhan Ahmed. Regarding the meeting, Sethi said: "I understand a lot of work has been done already and I only have to facilitate and follow up on the recommendations on various pending issues."

The Pakistan board was facing a minor crisis following the court's ruling, as the PCB constitution allows its chairman near-absolute powers, making it almost a one-man show. Under the PCB constitution, the board chairman is also the chief executive officer and every major decision needs his approval. Chief among the board's issues, was the selection of Pakistan's squad for the upcoming tour of the West Indies; squads require the chairman's approval.

Who is Najam Sethi?

  • The editor-in-chief of the Friday Times, a Lahore-based political weekly, and the anchor of television channel Geo News' popular political programme Aapas ki Baat
  • He was the founding editor of the Daily Times English newspaper
  • He is the only journalist from South Asia to receive the Golden Pen of Freedom award
  • He was named the 16th caretaker chief minister of Punjab this year

"My job is to resolve all the problems of the cricket board in a transparent manner, and then whatever the issues are will be sorted out amicably with the court," Sethi said. "We've heard there are problems of indiscipline, corruption … but we don't know what it is like inside [the board]. We will try to make a strong team and boost their morale."

Ashraf was elected under the new PCB constitution that replaced the system of appointing the PCB chairman by the patron of the board, the president of Pakistan. It was the first election of a PCB chairman, but the process was conducted without any prior announcement, the board revealing Ashraf's appointment through a press release.

Ashraf was one of two candidates - the other being former Lahore Stock Exchange chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan - recommended by the patron and then interviewed by the nomination committee. The committee then unanimously recommended Ashraf for the chairman's post, before the board of governors unanimously endorsed him.

As per the new constitution, the board of governors was restructured to include ten members - five regional representatives on the basis of rotation, and five representatives of service organisations and departments - with voting rights. Of the ten, PCB was able to appoint nine, all of whom voted in favour of Ashraf's nomination. However, there was no representation from Punjab, Pakistan's largest province with 60% of country's population, while two new regions without any first-class team - Larkana and Dera Murad Jamali - were represented on the board.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (June 25, 2013, 13:00 GMT)

Hopefully, we expect from Najam Sehti to manage PCB properly and elect the deserving people for PCB as well as Pakistan Cricket Team!!

Posted by huhohuhohuho on (June 25, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

Can someone please tell me why the captaincy was taken from shahid afridi in odis after he had won the odi series in the west indies. And I dont understand why we keep going to players like younis,shoaib malik,imran farhat and kamran akmal is there no one to replace them.How did they justify their selection malik hasnt scored a fifty in 4 years and we call him a specialist and kamran has continued to drop catches and imran farhat i dont know how many times he has failed. i think hafeez should bat at 6 or 7 because he has proved he cant play the new ball.

Posted by Unconstitutional_PCB_Chief on (June 24, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

Political personality(s) cannot resolve Pakistan cricket's monumental problems unless PCB adopts the route of absolutely fair selection process. Political appointments makes Pakistan cricket's environment very political as we saw in the case of selected players - over the time cricketers become better politician than cricketer? PCB culture needs to change from practicing politics to cricket. Practice of politics rather than cricket in PCB is that black sheep in our midst that if we don't eliminate from our cricketing system we will continue to experience the decline of cricket in Pakistan, not only that, if we don't resolve it then we shouldn't be surprise if Pakistan ranked lower than minnows.

Posted by agupta429 on (June 24, 2013, 15:43 GMT)

I am Indian and find najam sethi to be one of the few sensible pakistanis in the country. As to why he was appointed as PCB chief i cannot understand. but he is a man of great logic and humility (while everyone in the country is in denial mode about everything). He is very diplomatic as well. So im sure he was appointed based on his honest thinking and practices to set an example to the youngsters. his diplomacy will also help Pakistan towards the ability to host international matches again.

Posted by   on (June 24, 2013, 12:12 GMT)

cant understand why on earth he was appointed? can anybody help me out on this???

Posted by   on (June 24, 2013, 11:45 GMT)

Please mr Sethi bring in slecters that understand and have played good number of tests and odis for pakistan and sort the problems that pakistan is facing at the moment do what is right for the team dont bring in players who are in the team cause of their big names or their relatives are asociated with board etc get rid of all the dead wood as its time to move forward get some young blood in the team and give them time to gel and mature together before the 2015 world cup the young players cant do worse then what the current team did in the recent champions trophy. The players sohuld give 110 percent when they put that green shirt on and play for pakistan as i believe that there must be many talented yet ignored players who would love to play for pakistan. We as supporters will always back the team but the team also needs to improve their performences and get rid of people who play politics within the team no one is bigger then the team and pakistan.

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (June 24, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

Zaka Ashraf was a good leader for PCB the way he tried and succeeded in mending way with BCCI and 3 match one day series was proof of that. This new man Najam Sethi, I hope carry on the good work and do not do that 'Butt of all jokes' which happens on our side of border too like interfering in selection matters. Rather calling for recall of Afridi's and Razzaks I believe they are past their use by date. And it would be better to lose with fresh faces rather than oldies. Nasir, Shafique and Azahar are good talent you need to nurture them and believe in them. World cricket need Pak more than you need world.

Posted by   on (June 24, 2013, 7:44 GMT)

ok decsion. its not for longer. its just for a month or so to cover icc meeting and WI tour. then they will have to start the election process for new chairman sooner or later.

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