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ICC urged to look into Sethi's appointment as PCB chief

Updated June 26, 2013
Najam Sethi was appointed as the acting chairman by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. -Photo by AFP
Najam Sethi was appointed as the acting chairman by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. -Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) has urged the International Cricket Council to investigate what it calls the “unconstitutional” appointment of Najam Sethi as acting chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board.

TIP wrote to ICC president Alan Isaac on Tuesday, saying “in our opinion Sethi's appointment is unconstitutional.”

TIP also asked the ICC to “adhere to its own principles to ensure corruption-free cricket in the world and especially to observe that national boards follow their own constitution duly approved by the ICC.”

TIP's letter to the ICC, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, came just two days before Sethi is scheduled to attend the ICC board meeting in London.

The ICC said on Tuesday that Sethi will represent Pakistan at the board meeting.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Sethi as acting chairman last Sunday after the Islamabad High Court ordered the government to replace Zaka Ashraf.

A former cricket official from Rawalpindi had challenged Ashraf's election as PCB chief. Court judge Shaukat Aziz Siddique termed the PCB election process as “polluted” before ordering the government to appoint an acting chairman, and also stopped Ashraf from representing Pakistan at the ICC.

The PCB amended its constitution to fall into line with ICC rules for democratic elections and non-interference from the government. One of its clauses states that in case the chairman's post falls vacant for more than 45 days, he could be replaced only by a board member.

However, it seems this clause was ignored by Sharif, who brought in Sethi, a former caretaker chief minister of Punjab province and a prominent political analyst.

Sethi has said he has no plans to stay for a long period, and will make way for the new full-time chairman once he attends the ICC meeting, gives approval of the team for next month's tour to West Indies, and conducts fair and transparent elections for the new PCB chief.