Najam Sethi has stepped down as the Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman, and Imran Khan, the new Prime Minister of the country, has appointed Ehsan Mani as his replacement.
It was always on the cards. Sethi, a journalist and publisher by profession, has for long been perceived by many as anti-Khan and pro-Nawaz Sharif, and was even appointed caretaker Chief Minister of the Punjab province, Sharif’s political stronghold.
I was waiting for the new Prime Minister to take oath before submitting my resignation as PCB Chairman, which I have done today. I wish PCB all the best and hope our cricket team goes from strength to strength. Eid Mubarak. Pakistan Zindabad. pic.twitter.com/uiIVoiRAtq
— Najam Sethi (@najamsethi) August 20, 2018
Developments on Monday, August 20 started with Sethi announcing on Twitter that he had submitted his resignation to Khan, the 1992 World Cup-winning Pakistan captain who was sworn in as the country’s new Prime Minister recently.
“I was waiting for the new Prime Minister to take oath before submitting my resignation as PCB Chairman, which I have done today. I wish PCB all the best and hope our cricket team goes from strength to strength. Eid Mubarak. Pakistan Zindabad,” wrote Sethi in his tweet.
Khan, without acknowledging Sethi’s resignation, tweeted soon after: “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 yrs and then headed the ICC for another 3 yrs.
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. https://t.co/kYZOnnMUFg
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 20, 2018
“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 last of Sethi’s multiple tenures as PCB Chairman was an eventful one, with routine attempts made to bring top-flight cricket back to Pakistan, which has been largely shunned by teams because of security concerns.
Since the armed attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009, there has only been a handful of international matches on Pakistani soil, and the national team has played most of its ‘home’ matches in the UAE. But, owing to Sethi’s efforts, there have been a number of visits by international teams to Pakistan, including one by an ICC World XI last year, while matches of the Pakistan Super League have also been played in the country.
Mani, meanwhile, was elected president of the ICC in 2003 after having represented the PCB at the ICC from 1989 to 1996. He has also served as the ICC’s Finance and Marketing Committee chairman and played a key role in the organisation of the ICC Cricket World Cup 1996 in the subcontinent.