Imran must keep distance from ex-cricket mates for tangible changes in the PCB on sheer MERIT

August 5, 2018 | By

After Imran Khan’s victory the days of shrewd and loud-mouthed Chief of the PCB and PSL Najam Aziz Sethi are numbered. His attempts to manage articles in print media and arrange tv programs highlighting his shallow achievements would not halt his imminent ouster.

According to media reports Ehsan Mani, a former president of the ICC, is the foremost runner for the lucrative post. It would be a good choice if he could maintain a reasonable balance between his PCB job and business engagements/interests abroad.

Media is also forwarding their favourite former Test cricketers. The name of a former cricketer turned commentator is also raised by some enthusiastic sports journalists. Passionate cricket followers remember that he had instigated a small group of team mates against Imran, particularly after his victory speech in the final of WC-1992. The name of a tainted fast bowler has also been projected in media reports.  But he stands no chance because of his unfortunate tainted past.

After a determined political struggle of over two decades, the lady luck has smiled on Imran. After his political victory in the General Elections-2018 he is destined to become the first sportsman prime minister of Pakistan. Past and present Test cricketers are greeting the ‘Would be Prime Minister’ of the country. Just before the general elections some current cricketers had avoided to speak in favour of Imran in public fearing PCB’s displeasure. But after the results of the elections they hastily drove to Bani Gala to show their faces.

Imran’s contemporaries Abdul Qadir, Iqbal Qasim and Mohsin Khan, however, adopted a dignified path and congratulated their former captain through media. Anyhow an interesting race has started among the former Test cricketers to please Imran and win his support to get a place in the new PCB set up. Some one flew from Sydney and few others drove to his Bani Gala residence to express their greetings.

On a lighter note there is another overambitious and notorious blackmailer from Islamabad has also presented his candidature for the coveted PCB post. According to a media report, Imran Khan has signaled him to head the PCB. What a bizarre joke with Pakistan cricket! After his meeting with Imran, definitely not one to one, he wasted no time to manage to publish his wishful table story in a newspaper from Islamabad.

This man is associated with the PCB since the time of Dr. Nasim Ashraf and without any gap has remained the member of the Board of Governors. Imran would be the last person to allow this blackmailer to further spoil the Game of Gentleman!

Sethi has read the writing on the wall but adopted a Wait And See policy. It would be better for him to resign but grace and Najam Aziz Sethi are two things apart. Once it became clear that Imran is going to form government in Islamabad he is destined to be sacked.

Sethi’s case, as head of the PCB and the PSL, is a sheer conflict of interest which doesn’t come on Merit. How can an Editor-in-Chief of a weekly publication become the chairman of the PCB? How could he, chosen by 15 member governing board, become a chairman? That was only possible in convicted Nawaz Sharif’s democracy. But in the New Pakistan it would be hard to digest such a palpable clash of interest and dubious election.

In his recent editorial in his family’s publication, The Friday Times, he has accused that Miltablishment (Military Establishment) is behind Imran’s election victory. “No huffing and puffing will bring Imran Khan’s house down because he is protected and propped up by the Miltablishment,” the editorial said. Sethi has tried to establish that Imran’s victory is, in fact, Army’s ploy. After offering his wisdom through his editorial analysis if Sethi still expects that his seat in the PCB is safe he is insane. He should now devise plans to save himself from NAB and the FIA instead of predicting about Imran’s performance in government.

Further, he is misled by his self-assumed notion that interference from the political government would invite ICC’s reaction. He forgets that an Administrative Committee looks after the affairs of BCCI amid order of the Apex Court in India. The ICC did not interfere. Same is the case in Sri Lankan cricket. Why he is expecting something unusual from the ICC?

Who is going to head the PCB it is the sole discretion of Imran. Nevertheless, there is a dire need to purge the PCB. The dirt associated with the Board for over two decades needs to be flushed out. Those who have not made any notable contribution should be shown the door along with those who are facing the FIA and NAB inquiry.

Particularly, the den of inept officials of the National Cricket Academy must be removed immediately. Mudassar Nazar, a brilliant cricketer of the past whose cricketing insight was even praised by Imran in his autobiography, would try his best to save them. He would insist not to disturb likes of Ali Zia, Mohsin Kamal and a couple of other inept administrators and coaches at the NCA. This would be disastrous! These pigmies have contributed none despite of their over one and half year long association with the PCB. The complete revamp of PCB is the need of the day and Imran is bold enough to take such a decision in the larger interest of Pakistan cricket. Good Luck to the skipper of New Pakistan!

Asif Sohail

Asif Sohail is an author at ScoreLine and has written numerous articles published at

He is a freelance sports journalist. Have worked in ‘The News International’ and a former Head of Sports at ‘Dunya News’. He Graduated from GC Lahore and completed his Masters from Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad.

You can connect him on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter

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