Interim PCB Chief Najam Sethi vows to improve functioning of board and team

Najam Sethi was recommended by the Inter Provincial coordination ministry to the Prime Minister who approved it © AFP

Karachi: Jun 23, 2013

Newly-appointed Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman, Najam Sethi on Sunday said he would look to introduce discipline, accountability and transparency in the affairs of the cricket board and the national team.

“Obviously people are very disheartened by the performance of the team in the Champions Trophy but my job is to not only look at the team and bring about improvement it is also to bring improvement in the board affairs both are equally important,” he told Geo Super channel.

Sethi said his job would be to have more discipline, accountability and transparency in both areas.

“Obviously there is going to be accountability in the board.”

Shakeel Sheikh, a senior member of the PCB Board of Governors, confirmed that Sethi’s name was recommended by the Inter Provincial coordination ministry to the Prime Minister who approved it.

Sethi has been given the responsibility of resolving the many cases concerning the board in the courts, its financial affairs and constitutional matters. Until a new Chairman is elected he will continue to work as interim Chairman,” Sheikh of Islamabad association, said.

The PCB interim Chairman said he was very keen to see revival of international cricket in Pakistan.

“I want to see the empty stadiums of our country filled with people and intentional teams played on our grounds that is my priority,” he said.

Sethi also promised he would make every effort to improve the image and credibility and prestige of Pakistan cricket globally and to improve relations with other boards.

The Pakistan cricket community, however, reacted cautiously to Sethi’s appointment although they were some critical comments coming from some quarters.

Pakistan’s former captain, Rashid Latif, who has a constitutional petition against the board and the election of Zaka Ashraf pending in the Sindh high court, said that Sethi’s appointment could be challenged in court.

“Under the PCB constitution clause 6 (2) the interim Chairman can only be appointed from amongst the Board of Governors or under clause 6 (3) it can designate Chairman powers to the chief operating officer,” he said.

Arif Ali Khan Abbasi, the former chief executive of the board, said that it was sad that government interference in cricket affairs was increasing.

“I am not a great fan or supporter of Zaka Ashraf but it is not a good sign the way government interference has started not only in cricket but in other sports as well,” he said.

Abbasi said that Pakistan needed to learn from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

“Despite the hue and cry raised by the spot fixing scandal in the IPL the BCCI is handling everything and their government has not interfered at all in this matter and this is how a democratic and independent sports body should be run,” he said.

Abbasi said the way Zaka Ashraf had been sidelined as Chairman was not fair.