Najam Sethi’s chances of another innings as the cricket board chairman are bright while the current head Ramiz Raja likely to step down very soon
The winds of change have started to knock on the doors of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after Imran Khan was out from power through a vote of a no-confidence motion, becoming the first prime minister in the country’s history to be unseated by a parliamentary revolt.
According to sources, Najam Sethi’s chances of another innings as the cricket board chairman are bright while it is likely that the current head Ramiz Raja will resign by himself very soon (claim of close circles).
As history suggests, change is mandatory after a switch in power. Najam Sethi has close ties with the opposition leader and potential new Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif. He is keen on returning to the cricket board and preliminary talks have already been started.
Najam, 73, first served as chairman in 2013 but had to fight a legal battle with Chaudhry Muhammad Zaka Ashraf. He returned to charge in 2014 but Shahryar Khan was named chairman and Sethi was given the charge of the powerful executive committee. Behind the scenes, he had the main powers.
In August 2017, he was re-appointed chairman of the board but a year later, he stepped down after Imran Khan took charge as Prime Minister and announced his successor, former ICC President Ehsan Mani, as the new head of the cricket board.
Najam Sethi wants to complete some of his unfinished business in PCB while he is also very interested in making Pakistan Super League (PSL) a bigger brand which was started in his time. Some of his close ones are also likely to return to PCB.
Many of the current officials won’t be able to save their positions, including Zakir Khan, who currently holds the post of Director International Cricket.
On the other hand, the possibility of the return of the old domestic system under the new government is also bright. In the system created at the behest of Imran Khan, the departments were abolished and domestic cricket was limited to six associations, which left thousands of cricketers unemployed. Although former chairman Ehsan Mani claimed that cricketers and coaches would have the same income as before, it didn’t happen.
Many players and officials have been forced to drive away from the game and look to do other work. So far, no improvement has been seen in the domestic system.
Persuading departments to form teams again will not be easy. Major changes are expected in Pakistan cricket over the next month.