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New PCB chief, new controversy

Published Jun 27, 2013 07:55pm


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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.

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Comments (30) Closed

Rohit Jun 27, 2013 10:00pm

While it is correct that Najam Sethi is not an expert in the game of cricket, he happens to be a good administrator with diverse experience. And while we as cricket lovers often want cricketers to play a more significant role in the administration and propagation of game in the country, I have often seen many of the cricketers disagreeing on the issue.

"A genius man is a genius in every single way"- they say and I hope Najam Sethi is successful in his current venture.

Ian Jun 27, 2013 10:54pm

PCB chairman should be like a CEO of a cutting edge global company who is passionate about the game but doesn

Faiza Jun 28, 2013 01:10am

There is no harm having a neutral person on this post for a change. I tis about time they bring accountability to this organization. New faces with new ideas are leading will bring about the much needed change. One should fire all the old established board members and directors.

junaid Jun 28, 2013 01:32am

The very nature of Nawaz Sheriff governance can be seen in his decision to ignore the " Constitution " of the PCB and making an unconstitutional appointment. This is from Prime Minister who has favoured to try Musharaf for treason when he ignored the constitution to fix country's dire problems. PCB constitution is as important to follow as national,or the institutions will never be democratic. Problem is that these professional politicians continue to prove their ignorance and lack of interest in the welfare of the coutnry in the long run. They are only interested in their own lives and settle accounts with eachother. In the end they will correct the problem only when ICC will threaten them. That is a shame.

asim Jun 28, 2013 02:05am

Najam sethi should be banned on TV programs as violating the code of conduct of Journalism; He is a tax defaulter and article 61/62 violator as well.

ailly Jun 28, 2013 03:37am

This is the first article where I have found writer is earnestly asking for readers comments, suggestions to improve our PCB and its management style.

Indeed a tough ask, however ... writer's question should be relayed to Gentleman who appointed Najm Sethi Whereas Ejaz Butt / Nasim Ashraf were novices in cricket and they stick to the posts like leeches and destroyed our cricket, again these were political appointments. I would like them to be trialed with SCP, can we ?.

For PCB, I would suggest to bring in someone in the molds of Nur Khan who should dictate board's policy rather than player's terms. Cricket board should run like a semi-government institute where cricket and its matters related to selection, talent-hunt schemes, management, coaching should be taken care of by our ex-players ( if they are unbiased and have clean cricketing history with min 30 tests under their belt, no foreign coaches ). These members should be empowered enough to select the chairman out of their ranks, let politician stay out of it. Chairman in return should be accountable for selection committee performance on points system. An 8-members selection committees should be formed ( two member from each province after elections on district and provincial levels) to select teams. If 5 out of 8 members persist with selecting certain batsmen / bowlers / WK then only these 5 selectors should be questioned about their wisdom for choosing certain players who either failed to perform or were excellent performers. To keep things tight selector's additional perks and tour fees be released mid-way during our fiscal year and that too depending upon team's performance.

There must be a Chief Executive in place as well, who should monitor the entire management and selection process and report same to the Ministry of Sports for more transparency, on monthly basis and no matter what reports be published in newspapers.

PCB Chairman and selectors should lay down a policy to improve our Test Match performance, a plat-from which is instrumental in judging player's temperament, potential, guts, guile, class and sustainability to endurance. Not flash pans like Umar, Afridi, Hafeez etc... ( remember Bevan was a class ODI player today anyone hardly remembers him ). But people do remember likes of Javed, Zaheer, Salim Malik, Laxman, Dravid, Border, Dean Jones, etc....

We lost 3 test series to SA 3-0, no one made such a noise when we lost 3 matches in last CT ?. Wish to have more

mike jackson Jun 28, 2013 08:14am

There you go again the same old Sharif clan .Some people never learn .. do they ? Nawaz and his dictatorial autocratic psyche is out of control . This Sethi guy is only a stooge for the clan .. the team will be selected by the sharifs now ..PCB is effectively null and void. Great stuff for the human race indeed.

Alfarooq Kemal Jun 28, 2013 10:00am

Mr Sethi unconstitutional appointment by Premier become controversial!! In my humble advice, he should resign honorably without having second thought or wasting anytime because otherwise he would be humiliated by High Court Order to unceremoniously vacate the post Interim Chairmanship PCB.

Saquib Javaid Jun 28, 2013 11:55am

Mr. Sethi is definately the boss of PCB for the interim period. He will probably stay on for a couple of months, award the rights of Pak Vs S.A and Pak Vs Sri Lanka series to Geo Super and will quietly leave the scene.

This talk of getting Aamirs ban reduced or fixing admin issues is just throwing dust in the eyes,

rayriaz Jun 28, 2013 12:12pm

@Rohit: the set up in all Pakistani sports is a quota base ,meaning Karachi and Hyderabad can have one or two player in the national teams of Pakistan.While Punjab can have 7 or 8 players in any national team of Pakistan. So selector can not do any thing they have to select the national team on Quota basis.

Talha Jun 28, 2013 02:30pm

@Ian: That will be possible when PCB is governed as a corporate entity (which is its nature). I haven't seen the interference of govt. officials in multinationals and other successful companies. The same attitude should be towards PCB as well. If we allow that to happen, things will start falling in the right place. All you need is to pick up the right people (Pakistani) to lead with a sense of direction and they need not be cricketers because we all have grown up watching cricket and we all know how the game goes.

Rajab Ali Jun 28, 2013 02:50pm

It seems that the policy of "Right person at the Right place" does not exist in our country. In case of cricket, we have seen the humiliating ouster from the Champions Trophy competition. The deteriorating condition of this country is also the result of reckless postings of the inept people.

Nawaewatan Jun 28, 2013 03:41pm

Just like many others, I am shocked and surprised on this hand picked chairman of PCB. Very simple to say that he got his payback for his loyalty to Mr. Nawaz Sharief. Welcome Mr. Sethi, you have made Noon League win in Punjab why not you get something. And by the way I hope your little Chirya (Sparrow) is fed good by Nawaz family.

ANIS YUSUF Jun 28, 2013 04:34pm


John Jun 28, 2013 04:58pm

Political appointees like DNA, IB, and ZA have destroyed cricket in Pakistan. NS is the new kid on the block; he loves to be in limelight; he is clueless about cricket. PCB needs professionals who are elected in a constitutional manner. Enough of political appointments.

Najam Mirza Jun 28, 2013 09:28pm

The PCB chairman does not need to be someone who understands cricket - it just needs to be someone who knows how to run an organization, is educated and is a top notch professional.

Whatever you have against Sethi, and I'm not a fan of his - you cannot deny that he has done a good job with his businesses and is pretty good at what he does. We do not need another cricketer who has no idea how to professionally run an organization.

Lalit Modi was not a cricketer yet he built the BCI into a global powerhouse.

G.K. Shahani Jun 28, 2013 10:20pm

@John: As for as my long time observations are concerned for Pakistan's cricket! I think Mr. John is absolutely right on his point of view and nothing is fruitful then to appoint a professional but an impartial one in order to get 100 percent result.

Mohamad Reza Jun 29, 2013 01:56am

Mr. Sethi is a writer and scholar. First of all it was unfair to make him Chief Minister Punjab. Now PCB Chairman. Are we short of veteran cricketers

Nadeem Qadri Jun 29, 2013 05:06am

@Anis, I don't understand these "experts" here. Being a cricketer is "NO" qualification to run an organization. We need an impartial & capable person to run PCB. Is Sethi one of them, I don't know!

A Hakim Jun 29, 2013 09:19am


Nasir Jun 29, 2013 05:07pm

This move by PM Nawaz Sharif is nothing but politically motivated as a "thank you" for tailoring Punjab's elections in getting Nawaz League elected in the province. If new constitution doesn't allow government interference then why Najam Sethi is being appointed?

Secondly, if constitution says that in the situation where Chairman of PCB is incapacitated for any reason, than Board of Governors should appoint an interim Chief. This should have been the step.

I hope some honest person will file the case in the Supreme Court and Supreme Court will similarly will dismiss Sethi on the basis of PCB Constitution. But I think Supreme Court is not fair and is biased in Pakistan, so there is no hope for Justice from these people.

Naeem Syed Jun 29, 2013 05:51pm

There is not a shred of Dishonesty in Najam Sethi, a good man but the wrong choice for this position at this critical time. The Prime Minister should have reached out across the isle and asked Imran to take on this job as well. that would have created a more cordial Political climate and that would also have put the affairs and the team under an able cricket Master. Any one agree?

Aamer Anwar Jun 29, 2013 07:16pm

I think Sethi is rewarded for his safe caretaker role in period we were heading for May Election. Honestly, it did't taxed PML-N, you know, for now a safe heaven in Punjab. If Nawaz & Co Family Limited has learned something, they should help form a genuine democratic setup in PCB by sing Sethi Book Publisher.

Akhtar R Mallick Jun 29, 2013 07:54pm

It is sad on the part of rulers that giving them an opportunity to have a public office, they think they get a certificate to anything they want to. Shocking/Bad/sad/strange that is what happens in third world only. How Mr. Shethi can help cricket, I do not know. But one thing I know, Those who are holding public office and are not sincere to their position and is incompetent to the standards and norms of the position, they should be kicked out, rather should be put on trial to reply to all the acts they have performed and punished. They r enjoying public money, they are answerable to public and they must be scrutinized too. (Punishment is must).

TKhan Jun 29, 2013 08:12pm

@A Hakim: Hakim Sahib, please don't write in caps, you are killing my eyes. Most of us can read in small caps and understand you are emphasizing your point.

Pakistani Jun 30, 2013 01:54am

God bless pakistan cricket !

                                       Even before settling the selection issues of Pakistan Cricket Team, now there are board issues on the line. For this very reason ICC Doesn't grant Pakistan to Hold any Major ICC Trophy or even any Series. Once again the politics interuption had doomed pakistan's major sport Cricket. Specialist and Highly knowledgable persons of the relevant field has the right to be granted with such High Post. Without any doubt, Najm Sethi is a Highly knowlegable Person and a specialist in many other fields but cricket isn't his DESTINY. 

Shahzad Jun 30, 2013 10:31am

Najam Sethi is not the right candidate for this job. This is politically motivated move just to reward Sethi for his "work" before and during elections. Majid Khan is the right choice as he will "straighten" everything up. Chisti Mujahid should be the second choice after Majid Khan.

naeem Jun 30, 2013 12:29pm

The man who should have got the job was Majid Khan. He is the only Pakistan cricketer apart from Imran Khan who has the world wide respect in the cricketing circles. However because of his relationship with IK he was not chosen.

Bugti Jun 30, 2013 05:40pm

its a gift to CM for making PML (N) win in punjab

Ajilala Jun 30, 2013 07:43pm

@Najam Mirza: He's also done a good job during his caretaker chief ministership.You appear to b a nice judge.Pakistan does not need sharpers like Sethi.