LAHORE: Patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has endorsed the decision of the PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan and Board of Governors (BoG) to recommend former PCB chairman Najam Sethi as Pakistan’s nominee for the post of the president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) for a one-year term, starting in July next year.
The PCB was to submit the name of its nominee till Oct 31 which it did a day before the deadline.
“The PCB chairman and BoG have unanimously recommended Najam Sethi as Pakistan’s nominee for president of ICC for the 2015-16 term commencing on July 1, 2015,” said a press release issued by the PCB which added: “The PCB Patron, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on Tuesday evening endorsed the PCB’s nomination of Najam Sethi for the ICC President’s position.”
It further said: “Mr Sethi is a renowned, international award-winning journalist who was given Pakistan’s highest civil award, Hilal-i-Pakistan two years ago. Last year he served as PCB chairman and helped fashion a new democratic constitution for the PCB, later voluntarily stepping aside to make way for the election of Shaharyar Khan.
“The BoG in its last three meetings had at various points greatly appreciated Mr Sethi’s contribution to Pakistan cricket during a difficult transition period and unanimously felt he was the best man for the nomination as the president of the apex body of world cricket.”
It is the second time that Pakistan got this post with Ehsan Mani representing the country as ICC president in early 2000. However, when Mani was president of the ICC the post was not a ceremonial one which it has become now in wake of the formation of the Big-Three whereby India, Australia and England enjoy veto power.
Apparently, Sethi’s nomination is the result of a deal the former PCB chief cut with the ICC after accepting the Big-Three formula which his predecessor Zaka Ashraf had refused to endorse.
Sethi is currently a member of the BoG which he will remain until joining the ICC next year. He is also chairman of the powerful executive committee of the BoG. However, the former PCB chief has preferred to accept a ceremonial post at ICC compared to an effective association with the PCB.
Though Sethi may not be able to help the PCB tremendously in restoration of international cricket in Pakistan during his stint at the ICC, as ambassador of the country, however, he may improve Pakistan’s image within the ICC.