Friday, June 23, 2023

Najam Sethi pursued Asif Zardari for PCB top spot, sources say

PPP was also contacted to withdraw former PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf's name from run for chief position

PPP C-o-chairman Asif Ali Zardari (left) and Najam Sethi. — PPP/AFP/File
PPP C-o-chairman Asif Ali Zardari (left) and Najam Sethi. — PPP/AFP/File

  • Zardari did not speak to Sethi about top PCB post.
  • PPP contacted by "friends" to withdraw Ashraf's name.
  • PCB elections to take place next week on June 27.

Najam Sethi — chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB's) now-defunct Management Committee — tried to woo Pakistan People's Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari till the last moment; however, the latter did not respond, reliable sources told Geo News.

The party, as per the sources, was contacted by "some friends" on Monday to convince them to withdraw the name of former PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf in the run for the coveted position of the board chair. 

However, the party — angry over the resignation of former National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) chairman Tariq Malik — refused the proposition.

PPP has been pushing hard to hand over the post of PCB chief to Ashraf, while Sethi had to go home due to a stand-off between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Zardari-led party.

Furthermore, Sethi also had to endure another humiliation. 

His decision to form a new Board of Governors during his last meeting on June 20 was automatically cancelled after the Management Committee was dissolved following the appointment of Election Commissioner Ahmed Shehzad Farooq Rana as acting chairman of the cricketing body on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the PCB has announced that elections for the PCB top post will be held next week on June 27.

In a statement, the board said that the election for the chairman’s post would be held at its headquarters in Lahore, and its schedule would be issued after receiving nominations from the departments and service organisations. 

The commission’s office has also written to the departments and service organisations to nominate their representatives.

“The election of the PCB Chair will be held in a fair and transparent manner whilst adopting due process and ensuring completion of all legal formalities,” Rana was quoted by the PCB.