ISLAMABAD - A petition challenging the appointment of Najam Sethi as interim chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). Petitioner Abdullah Tahir Wednesday moved the court through his counsel M Tariq Asad advocate and made secretary Ministry of Sports, secretary Establishment Division and chairman PCB Najam Sethi as respondents.
In the petition, he stated that unfortunately in Pakistan, the game of cricket has been defamed due to the inefficient and mismanagement in the PCB to such a degree that it is apprehended that the International Cricket Council (ICC) being a regulatory authority may take any stern action against the Pakistan cricket team in its international recognition.
He added that recently the conviction of Pakistani Test players for spot-fixing has greatly damaged the integrity of Pakistan team particularly and the people of Pakistan generally. "This was due to the wrong and political based selection policy of cricketers from the grass root level up to the international level and lack of negligence to manage and impart training and education to the players in the PCB Academy by the senior management.”  The petitioner contended that due to inexperienced, inefficient and weak management of the incompetent chief executives of the PCB, the Pakistan cricket stars became involved in match-fixing and spot-fixing and consequently the Pakistani nation has been degraded, defamed and undignified at international level against Article 14 of the Constitution.
He informed the court that in order to clean up the politics and pollution in cricket and upgrade its standard at international level, the ICC had taken a decision at a meeting of the ICC's full council after four days of talks between the chief executives' committee and executive board in Hong Kong to amend the ICC constitution to provide for the important principle of free elections and the independence of member boards. "The ICC has thus resolved to ban political appointments in cricket boards to improve governance within the game," he added.
He said the reform would entitle the ICC to suspend a member country in the event of government interference in the running of a national cricket board. Advocate Tariq representing the petitioner maintained that Sethi, who also worked as caretaker chief minister of Punjab, was appointed as an interim chairman of the country's cricket board following the court's orders. He stated that suspended PCB chief Zaka Ashraf was ordered to halt work by the IHC in the last month amid a row over his election.
Tariq added that today the cricket in Pakistan is facing tremendous challenges at international level and handing over this project in the hands of an unprofessional, incompetent and untrained person without any relevant experience of management would prove to be fatal. He contended that Sethi did not fulfill the pre-requisites under Article 5 of the PCB constitution and thus he was disqualified to be appointed as PCB chief.  He prayed that the court may declare the appointment Sethi as illegal under provisions of the PCB constitution. He prayed that a professional person with all the merits envisaged therein as PCB chairman without any political basis be appointed as an acting chairman of PCB in accordance with the law.