Pakistan news May 20, 2014

Pakistan government appeals against Ashraf's return

The Pakistan government has lodged an appeal in the Supreme Court against the Islamabad High Court's decision to remove the PCB administration under Najam Sethi chairmanship, annul all its decisions, and reinstate Zaka Ashraf as PCB chairman. The first hearing is on May 21 and the stage is set for a protracted legal tussle.

The Ministry for Inter-Provincial Co-ordination, which oversees sports affairs in Pakistan, is the petitioner in the appeal and is represented by renowned lawyer Asma Jahangir. It is asking the Supreme Court to annul the high court's decision and reinstate the Sethi administration.

In its appeal document, a copy of which is with ESPNcricinfo, the ministry said the High Court's order would severely damage cricket in Pakistan. "That by annulling the notification and all long-term acts, commitments etc made by the management committee, the honorable court has unleashed a chain of events that will create immense chaos and destruction, costing millions and millions of rupees. All reforms towards election, constitution making, and international commitments will be at peril," the appeal stated. "It has to be forthwith reversed and it is the obligation of the Patron [Prime Minister of Pakistan] to put PCB on a firm wicket, which can hardly be termed as a malafide act."

On May 19, the Islamabad High Court had reinstated Ashraf as PCB chairman and annulled the committee headed by Sethi. The development was likely to impact the Pakistan team significantly because their head coach Waqar Younis, team manager and chief selector Moin Khan, and other staff were appointed during Sethi's most recent tenure as PCB chairman. In its 26-page order, the IHC had said the lawyers appearing for the respondents could not "prove the reason for removal of [the] earlier set-up of the board."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson