Najam Sethi appointed interim chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board

The new management committee also includes former Pakistani captain Shahid Afridi and the former captain of the national women’s team, Sana Mir


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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Thu 22 Dec 2022, 12:56 PM

The Pakistan government has removed Ramiz Raja as the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board and re-appointed Najam Sethi as the head of a new 14-member interim management committee.

The government has also repealed the constitution of the PCB and restored it to the 2014 position, aiming to bring back regional departments into the fold of domestic cricket.

Sethi said in a tweet that thousands of cricketers will be employed again and “the famine in cricket will come to an end”.

Photo: @najamsethi/Twitter
Photo: @najamsethi/Twitter

Sethi served as the PCB chairman from 2013-18, although he fought legal battles with his predecessor Zaka Ashraf before being replaced by Ehsan Mani after former star cricketer Imran Khan took over as the country’s Prime Minister.

Mani separated departmental cricket from domestic cricket and squeezed it to six provincial-based teams at the behest of Khan. However, several cricketers and former governing board members had been urging the government to bring back departments into the country’s domestic cricket fold.

Mani didn’t accept an extension after his three-year tenure ended last year and Khan brought in Ramiz Raja as the new PCB chairman. Ramiz continued to serve as the PCB head despite Khan’s government ending earlier this year and Shahbaz Sharif becoming prime minister.

It is a normal practice in Pakistan that a prime minister, who is also the patron in chief of the PCB, appoints the country’s head of the cricket board though direct nomination.

The new management committee also includes former Pakistani captain Shahid Afridi and the former captain of the national women’s team, Sana Mir.

The government has given the committee 120 days to not only restore departments in its domestic cricket setup, but also to form a new board of governors.

During Ramiz’s tenure, Pakistan played the semifinals and the final of T20 World Cups in the United Arab Emirates and Australia respectively and also qualified for the final of the T20 Asia Cup.

However, Pakistan didn’t fare well in test matches at home and flat, grassless pitches remained the focal point. Australia recorded a 1-0 win when it toured Pakistan after more than two decades in March, and England handed Pakistan its first-ever 3-0 whitewash at home ending on Tuesday.

The wickets prepared for these twin tours came under severe criticism for Pakistan’s loss. The wicket at Pindi Cricket Stadium received one demerit point from the ICC in March when only 14 wickets fell over five days during the drawn test match against Australia.

Although England won by 74 runs to open its first test tour to Pakistan in 17 years in dimming light on the last day, the pitch at the Pindi Cricket Stadium received another demerit point earlier this month.

New Zealand arrived in Pakistan on Thursday for two test matches and three ODIs, starting with the first test at Karachi on Monday.


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