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New PCB chief, new controversy

June 27, 2013

enter image description hereVeteran journalist and, until recently, interim Punjab Chief Minister Najam Sethi was appointed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday.

The appointment has come as a surprise to many, and not without controversy. Sethi’s appointment follows the dismissal of Zaka Ashraf from the same post, by the Islamabad High Court, on the grounds that his selection was ‘politically motivated’, allegedly by President Asif Ali Zardari.

There are several aspects to his appointment. Many are of the opinion that the post of PCB chairman must go to someone who has technical know-how of the game, and is aware of the several deeply rooted problems facing the country’s most popular sport and its national team today. Sethi, while a maestro of many subjects, is not considered an expert on cricket. The job of PCB chairman includes meeting with high-level International Cricket Council (ICC) officials and discussing the more complex and technical aspects of the game.

The controversy arose even before his appointment – Ashraf was the first elected PCB chairman, after the PCB amended its constitution in accordance with the ICC's regulations. With his suspension, Sethi was appointed by an inter-provincial committee as a stop-gap measure – before Transparency International Pakistan filed a petition stating this move unconstitutional.

On the other hand, Sethi is, after all, just an interim PCB chief and has made no claims to stick for a long time – in fact, he’s stated that he merely wants to ensure that a team is selected in a smooth manner for an upcoming tour of the West Indies.

What do you think can be done to ensure that the PCB chief is not selected/elected on an arbitrary basis? What is the best way to ensure that a consensus candidate is chosen, who has a sound know how of the game and who’s appointment can not be suspected as being politically motivated? invites its readers to share their views.