PCB power struggle shifts back to Sethi with favourable Supreme Court ruling

Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday delivered a victory to Najam Sethi in the contest for power over Pakistan cricket, reinstating him as chairman of the PCB days after a lower court sided with Zaka Ashraf.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday reinstated Najam Sethi as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board just four days after a lower court replaced him with Zaka Ashraf.

The Islamabad High Court on Saturday invalidated prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s special notification in February to appoint a management committee to the PCB, which later elected Sethi as the cricket board’s chairman.

The Pakistan government filed a petition against High Court decision and a three-member bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday suspended Saturday’s earlier decision.

Supreme Court Judge Anwar Zaheer Jamali said the next hearing into the matter will be held on May 27, but by that time Sethi will head the PCB and the cricket board’s management committee will also be functional.

The turmoil in Pakistan cricket started in May last year when Ashraf was elected as PCB chairman, but it was challenged in High Court by one of the former cricket administrators of Rawalpindi city.

The High Court termed Ashraf’s election process as “polluted” and the government appointed Sethi, a renowned journalist, as the interim chairman of the PCB.

Ashraf was later restored in January by a divisional bench of the High Court, before Sharif was made patron of the PCB and the management committee re-elected Sethi as chairman.

Sethi’s mandate was to conduct fresh elections for chairman of the PCB and streamline the affairs of the cricket board. But he was again removed Saturday by the High Court after he terminated 25 PCB employees.

“It’s a clear message for those who are playing the musical chair,” Sethi told reporters soon after Supreme Court suspended IHC’s decision. “We do respect the Supreme Court’s decision.”

Sethi made several key appointments that included Moin Khan as chief selector, Waqar Younis as head coach, Mushtaq Ahmed as spin bowling consultant and Zimbabwean Grant Flower as batting coach of the national team.

Sethi has also said that the management committee had made necessary amendments in the PCB constitution and he is due to hold fresh elections of the PCB in early June after the amended constitution is approved both by Sharif and the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination.

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Published: May 21, 2014 04:00 AM

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