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Najam Sethi quits as PCB chairman, Ehsan Mani set to replace him

Najam Sethi’s departure from his position as PCB chairman is confirmed after he formally submitted his resignation on Monday. Minutes later, the prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan tweeted that he had nominated former ICC president Ehsan Mani as the brand new chairman of the board.

There had been intense hypothesis surrounding Sethi’s future within the PCB ever since Imran was elected Pakistan’s prime minister; the previous Pakistan captain and Sethi had a famously poor relationship. With the prime minister allowed – in accordance to the PCB structure – to change the PCB chairman if he so desired, it appeared unlikely Sethi would have the ability to keep on past Imran formally taking cost.

Along together with his resignation letter, Sethi tweeted that he had been “waiting for the new Prime Minister to take oath” earlier than deciding to hand in his resignation – which Imran did on Saturday. Sethi was appointed PCB chairman for his final, unbroken stint in 2017, however had beforehand served as PCB chairman in 2013 and 2014. That was a interval marred by an influence battle between him and former PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf; the pair swapped positions a number of occasions earlier than Sethi lastly consolidated his management on the helm of the PCB.

Addressing his resignation letter immediately to the prime minister, Sethi mentioned, “You have said on many occasions 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.” Sethi identified he had been appointed the PCB chairman unanimously in 2017 for a three-year time period following elections final 12 months, and that he believed he had “served the cause of cricket diligently”.

The inevitability of Sethi’s resignation has its roots in politics slightly than cricket. Sethi was appointed caretaker chief minister of Punjab, the stronghold of Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N occasion, Imran’s important political rival and the winner of the 2013 parliamentary elections. Imran repeatedly accused Sethi of unjustly serving to Sharif win the elections that 12 months.

In 2014, Sethi was nominated to the PCB board of governors by Sharif, accredited by the ICC and the Supreme Court of Pakistan. But it was extensively believed that if Imran ever was to come to energy, Sethi’s days on the PCB could be numbered. It was telling that Imran did not a lot as thank Sethi for his time as chairman, as a substitute specializing in the “vast and valuable experience” Mani would deliver to the job.

Ehsan Mani delivers his tackle Getty Images

While Sethi solely formally turned PCB chairman in 2017, he was de facto essentially the most influential man within the organisation for a lot of his predecessor Shaharyar Khan’s tenure, the place he served as the pinnacle of the PCB government committee. Most visibly, he was the chairman of the Pakistan Super League, Pakistan’s worldwide T20 franchise competitors. It is arguably what he’ll most prominently be remembered for, notably for the reason that competitors can also be considered as the gateway in direction of the return of worldwide cricket to Pakistan. The 2017 PSL remaining was held in Lahore, and the 18 months since have seen a trickle of matches performed in Pakistan’s two main cities, Lahore and Karachi. With the PSL not a separate entity to the PCB – that concept was floated however in the end by no means got here to fruition – Sethi will play no additional half in that competitors both.

Mani’s appointment is contingent on an election course of – however that’s merely a formality. As a fierce critic of the finance and governance draft proposal put ahead by Australia, England and India on the ICC in 2014, which later got here to be recognized as the Big Three reform, he gained followers in lots of the different international locations, notably Pakistan, who held out in opposition to the reforms longer than any of the opposite seven Full Member boards. He has constructed a lot goodwill in Pakistan through the years, particularly in 2009 when he accused the BCCI of attempting to isolate Pakistan when the Indian board rejected Pakistan’s proposal to host their share of matches at impartial venues.

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