Sethi resignation opens way for Imran Khan to appoint new chairman to Pakistan Cricket Board
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Najam Sethi resigned on Monday, posting a copy of his resignation letter to newly elected prime minister Imran Khan on his social media account.
“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,” he said in a tweet.
Sethi’s tweet was followed by Khan’s announcement that he had named Ehsan Mani as Sethi’s replacement.
“Mani brings vast and valuable experience to the job,” Khan said in a tweet.
The new chairman represented PCB on the International Cricket Council (ICC), was ICC treasurer for three years and then headed the ICC for another three years.
Sethi was nominated by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to the PCB’s board in 2014.
Khan, a cricket legend, viewed the appointment as Sharif’s way of rewarding Sethi for influencing the May 2013 general elections in favor of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party.
He accused Sethi, who was the caretaker chief minister of Punjab in 2013, of allowing election irregularities in 35 constituencies to help the PML-N.
However, Khan failed to identify the constituencies or provide evidence to substantiate his claim, and later described his accusation as a “political statement.”
That declaration prompted Dr. Arif Alvi, now presidential candidate for the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, to say it was time to apologize for the allegation.
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.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 20, 2018
Yet PTI stalwarts hold to the same narrative that forced the former PCB chairman to file a defamation case against Khan.
In his resignation letter, Sethi maintained that Khan had “a vision for Pakistan cricket,” adding “it is only proper that (the new prime minister) should assume charge and responsibility for assembling a management team for PCB that enjoys (his) full confidence and trust.”
Despite his controversial appointment, the former PCB chairman is credited with rejuvenating cricket in Pakistan. He is applauded for bringing back international teams to the country after an attack by militants on Sri Lanka’s cricket team in Lahore resulted in international unease.
Sethi also founded the Pakistan Super League, which allows teams from Pakistani cities to compete for the title of best T20 squad.
During Sethi’s time at the PCB, Pakistan’s national team scored a convincing victory over India in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in London.