Sethi promises to fix domestic cricket after Shehbaz removed Ramiz

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has installed a 14-member committee to run the PCB affairs after removing its chairman Ramiz Raja – a move that was anticipated for months but even more after the thrashing at the hands of England at home.

Najam Sethi is the management committee head, which includes the likes of former cricketers like Shahid Afridi and Sana Mir.

In this connection, Sethi said the cricket regime headed by Ramiz Raja is no more and that the 2014 PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) constitution stands restored.

He promised that the management committee would work tirelessly to revive first class cricket while providing employment to thousands of cricketers again. “The famine in cricket will come to an end,” Sethi remarked.

On Thursday, Sethi told media outside Lahore’s Qaddafi Stadium that their first priority was to fix the domestic cricket structure as only the PSL (Pakistan Super League) had been producing new players.

“I have to do a lot of work, I have returned after four years,” he said while listing the achievements during his previous stint.

The more formal notification of events had been issued earlier from the Prime Minister’s office and a summary from the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) which confirmed speculation that had built over the last couple of days, prompted by Pakistan’s defeat in Karachi to England. That loss completed an unprecedented 0-3 home whitewash.

“Constitution of a management committee to manage the affairs of PCB with full executive powers with the aim of effecting the restoration of Departmental Cricket Structure and other allied matters, including the nomination of a Board of Governors and election of chairman, as stipulated in the 2014 constitution, within a timeframe of 120 days,” the notification said.

Sethi was head of the PCB in one capacity or another from 2013 until 2018, though the stint was initially embroiled in legal battles with his predecessor Zaka Ashraf. He resigned once Imran became Prime Minister in August 2018.

As its first chairman, he oversaw the birth of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and was in charge when the very first visits by international sides were made to Pakistan, ending a period of isolation that began after the 2009 terror attacks on the Sri Lanka team in Lahore.

Raja’s position was weak ever since Imran removed as prime minister in April. He was elected unanimously and unopposed as the PCB’s 36th chairman in September 2021.

During his tenure, it was the then prime minister Imran Khan who pushed for getting rid of departments – a move resulting criticism from almost all quarters as it rendered hundreds of cricketers jobless at a stroke.

Meanwhile, many people reacted positively to this development, saying Sethi was the right man for the right job.

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