ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi hopes that Shahryar Khan gets elected as the next PCB chief saying his vast cricket and diplomatic experience will be an asset to the board.

Sethi said the next chairman, who so ever, gets elected should follow the merit-based yardsticks he had left behind. Speaking about the criticism Sethi faced on his decision to call-up Younus Khan to the ODI squad for Sri Lanka despite the captain and coach being against his decision, Sethi said: “The selectors accepted their error of judgment in awarding Younus B category and accepted my intervention to set the record straight by granting him A category. See how Younus has paid us back by scoring 177 in his very first outing in the first Test against Sri Lanka," he told Pakpassion.net.

Talking about the PCB's standing amongst the ICC and fellow administrators, Sethi said the PCB was in a good condition when he came along. "The ICC administrators used to joke about some of our ex-chairmen but thank God, all that is behind us now," he said.

Listing his achievements as PCB chairman, Sethi said he was able to cleanse the PCB of over 140 redundant employees at a saving of about Rs 6 million per month. "This saving enabled me to increase the salaries of the remaining staffers by about 10 per cent, increase pensions of former Test cricketers by about 30 per cent on average, give a stipend of Rs 5,000 per month to 50 top U-16 cricketers, increase central contract salaries of the national team squad by 25 per cent etc," he said.

Sethi said he appointed the best national and international coaches and empowered them to train and select the best cricketers in the country along with the new selection committees of untainted and respected former Test cricketers. "We have ended Pakistan's isolation in international cricket and become the fourth most powerful member of the ICC and we have signed the FTP contracts worth $400 to 500 million over the next eight years, which is an unprecedented feat," he said.

“Next year, we shall sit in the chair of the President ICC. The Pakistan Super League is about to become a wonderful and exciting reality in the months to come," he said.

To a query regarding meddling of the courts in the affairs of the PCB, Sethi said: “Yes, it was both tense and frustrating. Every time I was ready to move ahead, vested interests and blackmailers would move the IHC to derail us. Indeed, I was appalled by some court decisions. In the old days, the government used to meddle and derail the PCB. Lately, the courts were issuing stay orders against PCB without even hearing us and regardless of the adverse consequences of their actions. Thank God for Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Saqib Nisar of the SC and Justice Athar Minullah of the IHC who are trying to set things right.”