Sethi reinstated as PCB head

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Najam Sethi AFP The Supreme Court in Islamabad reinstated Najam Sethi as Pakistan's cricket chief on May 21, four days after a lower court threw him out. Photo: Aamir Qureshi

Karachi – The Supreme Court on Wednesday restored Najam Sethi as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) just four days after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had reinstated his predecessor, Zaka Ashraf, as head of the organisation.

A three-member bench of the apex court, while hearing a petition filed by the government’s Ministry of Inter-Provincial Co-ordination against the reinstatement of Ashraf last Saturday, annulled the lower court’s order but set May 27 as the next date of hearing for the case.

“It is not a decision but a stay order and we will be vigorously pursuing this case because I am the legally elected chairman of the board,” Ashraf told reporters in Lahore.

Ashraf, who was restored as PCB chief for the third time in a year last Saturday, said he would personally state the facts before the apex court, adding that Pakistan cricket needed stability and a clear direction.

Following the IHC orders, Ashraf declared null and void all decisions taken by Sethi and his management committee which included the appointments of chief selector, manager, head coach, batting and spin bowling coaches of the national team.

Sethi said he was appointed by the government to reorganise the board on professional lines and have a constitution which is democratic and does not give absolute powers to the chairman.

“I have no intention to stay on much longer as chairman except for the period given to me by the government. I just want to stabilise Pakistan cricket affairs and make it more professional,” he told reporters after the Supreme Court judgment.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had sacked Ashraf on February 10 and appointed a committee chaired by Sethi to oversee cricketing matters.

The Sethi-led board has accused Ashraf of widespread mismanagement and misuse of funds in a audited report. – Reuters

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