PCB is like a headless body now: Najam Sethi

Karachi: Suspended chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Najam Sethi has said that cricket in the country is undergoing a grave crisis and the board currently is like a headless body.

"As things stand because of the legal issues we don`t have a national selection committee, the bowling coach of our national team is stranded in the UAE without a contract and 89 employees of the board stand legally terminated from November 1st including some very important decision makers in the board," Sethi said in an interview on Sunday.

Drawing a very bleak picture of Pakistan cricket affairs, Sethi said former captains and greats like Intikhab Alam, Wasim Bari and Haroon Rasheed all were presently unemployed as their contracts ended on October 31st.

"Due to the court orders the board is presently like a headless body as the court has suspended the constitution so there is no Chairman, no interim management committee nor any governing board," he said.

Pakistan`s former captain, Imran Khan also expressed concern over the state of affairs in Pakistan cricket and wondered why like other countries elections couldn`t be held to democratically elect the Chairman of the board.

Sethi said the government had decided to challenge the court`s decision to put aside the board constitution in the Supreme Court while appeal petitions of the PCB and government against the Islamabad High Court judgment will be heard by a divisional bench will be heard on Monday.

A divisional bench of the Islamabad High Court is due to hear an appeal filed by the PCB and government against a full judgment of the IHC under which the court has suspended Najam Sethi from working and also put aside a government order to appoint a interim management committee for three month to run cricket affairs.

The court has instead for the time given powers to the general body of the board to manage day to day affairs and also appointed a retired judge of the Supreme court, Justice Munir A.

Sheikh to conduct elections for the post of PCB chairman by third week of November.

Sethi said Pakistan cricket was facing a unique situation because there was no authority to decide on the contracts of the 89 employees including the national selectors and bowling coach.

"Technically legally we don`t know if this situation persists who will select the team for the coming T20 series against South Africa and our bowling coach, Muhammad Akram presently with the team in UAE doesn`t know where he stands."

Sethi outlined that contracts of 89 employees ended on Oct 31st including around 27 lower staff employees and around 30 people in higher positions like Intikhab, Bari and Haroon.

Sethi claimed that he had a feeling that some vested interests didn`t like his intentions of ordering a clean up in the board to regularize financial matters and get rid of unnecessary employees to reduce the overstaffing.

"The day I announced I had asked an independent audit firm to conduct an audit of board affairs and employees I was a marked man," he said.

Sethi was appointed as acting Chairman of the board by prime minister, Nawaz Sharif in late June after the IHC had declared the elections of Sethi`s predecessor, Zaka Ashraf held in May as null and void and sent him home terming the election process as polluted and malafide.

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