Najam Sethi resigns as cricket chief, PM names Ehsan Mani for office
LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi on Monday resigned from office and was promptly replaced with former International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Ehsan Mani by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Mani previously represented PCB at the ICC, cricket’s governing body, as treasurer for three years and later headed the organisation for another three years.
Sethi, who has had longstanding differences with Imran Khan, said he had been waiting for the new prime minister to take oath before submitting his resignation.
“I wish PCB all the best and hope our cricket team goes from strength to strength,” he tweeted. “Eid Mubarak. Pakistan Zindabad.”
The text of his resignation recalled his appointment to the PCB’s Board of Governors by ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif from 2014 to 2017, and then again by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi from 2017 till 2020.
He recalled that PM Khan “said on many occasions that you have a vision for Pakistan cricket”.
“Therefore, it is only proper that you should assume charge and responsibility for assembling a management team for PCB that enjoys your full confidence and trust,” he added.
“In order to facilitate your objectives in the interest of Pakistan cricket, I hereby submit my resignation as Chairman of PCB and Member of its BoG,” the letter read.
Sethi has resigned both as PCB chairman and member of the Board of Governors. The journalist-turned-cricket boss was nominated by former premiers Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi from 2014 to 2020.
‘RESIGNING WITH DIGNITY’:
Sethi and Khan have shared longstanding differences ever since the 2013 elections. In 2014, the PTI chief had accused Sethi of being ‘rewarded’ with the PCB chairmanship in return for ’35 punctures’, a reference to the alleged fixing of results of 35 constituencies in the 2013 election in favour of the PML-N.
Sethi had earlier hinted at resigning from his post as the head of the cricket affairs in the country than compromising over ‘dignity and honour’.
On Saturday, after taking oath as premier, Khan vowed to revamp the PCB during his meeting with members of the 1992 World Cup winning team. He announced to introduced revolutionary changes in the administrative structure.
Linking improvement with changes in first-class cricket, PM Khan promised to award key positions to former cricketers in the board.
The meeting was attended by PCB Chief Selector Inzamamul Haq, Wasim Akram, Ramiz Raja, Waqar Younis, Mushtaq Ahmed, Javed Miandad and others.
Announcing Ehsan Mani’s nomination as the new chief of PCB, Prime Minister Khan said that Mani is an experienced person for the job.
In a tweet, Khan said, “I have appointed Ehsan Mani as Chairman PCB. He brings vast and valuable experience to the job. He represented PCB in the ICC; was Treasurer ICC for 3 years and then headed the ICC for another 3 years.”
“We will follow the set procedure which entails my nominating him on the PCB Board of Governors. He may then contest elections for the position of Chairman PCB,” the premier said in his next tweet.
Mani represented the PCB in the International Cricket Council (ICC) as its president from 1989 to 1996. For the 1996 Cricket World Cup in which several matches were played in Pakistan, he was on the advisory committee as the PCB representative.
Meanwhile, another governing board member Arif Aijaz has also resigned from his position.