Pakistan news May 21, 2014

Sethi back as PCB chairman, two days after removal

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered a stay against the Islamabad High Court (IHC) judgement that had removed the PCB administration under Najam Sethi chairmanship, annulled all its decisions, and reinstated Zaka Ashraf as chairman. A three-judge bench - headed by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali - accepted the Pakistan government's plea on Wednesday, reinstated the Sethi-led management committee to run the PCB, and restored all its decisions. The bench called all the parties involved for a hearing on May 27.

The changes at the top of the PCB in the last two days have come a full circle. On May 19, the IHC had reinstated Ashraf as PCB chairman, saying there had been no proof for the reason of his removal in the first place, and annulled the committee headed by Sethi and voided all the decisions made by it over the last four months. That move 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 term.

On May 20, the Ministry for Inter-Provincial Co-ordination, which oversees sports affairs in Pakistan, escalated the issue to the Supreme Court, appealing against the IHC's decision to remove Sethi and reinstate Ashraf. In its plea, the government said the IHC's order to reinstate Ashraf was detrimental to Pakistan cricket and would begin 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."

Sethi, speaking to the Tribune, said while he supposedly didn't really "want to" return, he would accept the directions given to him by the board's patron. "I said this before also, I didn't want to come here [the PCB]," Sethi was quoted as saying. "[But] this is the patron's decision. If he wants to keep me as chairperson, I'll stay. If not, then he can bring someone else in."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson