Najam Sethi. -File photo
KARACHI: Pakistan on Sunday appointed a senior journalist as interim chairman of country's cricket board following a court order.
Najam Sethi, 65, who also worked as caretaker chief minister of central Punjab province, was appointed interim head by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after orders this week from the Islamabad high court.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf was ordered to halt work last month amid a row over his election, which was criticised in some quarters as unfairly influenced by President Asif Ali Zardari, the board's patron.
Shakil Shaikh,a member of the PCB governning board, told the Associated Press Sunday that Sethi has been given the task to "restructure the PCB, its administration and review cricket board's constitution".
“I have been asked by the prime minister to fulfil limited responsiblity and I will do my best to do that,” Sethi told AFP.
Ashraf, 60, became the first-ever elected chairman of the PCB last month under a new constitution demanded by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to reduce political interference.
Ashraf's nomination was widely criticised by former players and officials who denounced it as politically motivated. Former Pakistan Army cricket coach Ahmed Nadeem Sadal challenged the appointment in court and the hearing will be held on Monday.
The court had ordered the Inter-Provincial Committee – looking after the sports affairs in the country – to appoint an interim PCB chairman until the case is decided.
Sethi said his priority will be to facilitate the selection of the team for an upcoming tour of the West Indies.
He will also attend the ICC annual general meeting later this week.
“I will be facilitating the team selection which was pending because of the suspension of the chairman and then attend the ICC meeting,” said Sethi.
The ICC meeting will be held in London from June 25-29. The chief executives of all the boards meet on the first two days followed by the Board meeting which is attended by the heads of member cricket boards.
Pakistan tours the West Indies for five one-day and two Twenty20 internationals next month.