Najam Sethi removed as PCB chairman
Najam Sethi has been removed as PCB chairman by the government of Pakistan and an interim setup will take charge of the board, under the chairmanship of the retired judge Jamshed Ali Shah, for one month. Shah is the third person in last seven months to take over the chairmanship.
"The government has notified a new PCB constitution and removed Najam Sethi from the PCB management committee," Irfana Ullah Khan, a government legal advisor, told ESPNcricinfo. "Jamshed Ali Shah will now be the acting chairman of the PCB and he will also serve as an election commissioner.
"The management committee, which had been working under Najam Sethi, will remain in the board to work with the acting chairman. They are given 30 days to implement the constitution and make the cricket board functional in the given time."
Shah, a Lahore-based retired judge of the Supreme Court, took office just hours after the government removed Sethi. He had earlier worked with the PCB as the head of its integrity committee and also drafted the board's new constitution.
"I was informed by the government, verbally, to take charge today," Shah told reporters at the PCB headquarters in Lahore. "I will wait for the notification from the Supreme Court and then decide my responsibilities. Meanwhile, I will carry on the day-to-day affairs, but my basic responsibility is to conduct the elections and implement the new constitution within 30 days."
There was a twist in the ongoing hearing in the Supreme Court in which the government was contesting against Zaka Ashraf's reinstatement by the Islamabad High Court. Informing the two-member bench consisting of Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Saqib Nisar, the attorney general of Pakistan, Salman Aslam Butt, said that the government had decided to create a new constitution and hence form an interim setup to implement it. Until yesterday, though, the case was between Sethi and Ashraf but the latest developments superseded it.
This is the PCB's fourth constitution since 1995 and the latest one was developed under the supervision of Sethi. He was running the PCB in a provisional capacity with the help of the PCB's five-man management committee, directly appointed by the chief Patron who is the Prime Minister of Pakistan. His major task was to make a new and democratic constitution, which prescribes that the chairman be elected democratically, rather than a direct dictatorial appointment.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson