Najam Sethi Withdraws From Contention for PCB Chairman Position, Citing Political Turmoil

Najam Sethi, the interim chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), made a surprising announcement on Tuesday, stating that he would not be seeking a permanent position as the board chairman. Sethi’s decision came in light of the prevailing political tensions between Asif Zardari and Shehbaz Sharif, and he expressed concerns over the resulting instability and uncertainty within the PCB. This development marks a significant turn of events for the board, which has been grappling with leadership transitions in recent months.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Najam Sethi conveyed his decision to step down from the race for the PCB chairman position. He expressed his desire to avoid becoming a source of conflict between Asif Zardari and Shehbaz Sharif, acknowledging the detrimental effect it could have on the stability of the PCB. Sethi’s tweet read, “Salaam everyone! I don’t want to be a bone of contention between Asif Zardari and Shehbaz Sharif. Such instability and uncertainty are not good for PCB. Under the circumstances, I am not a candidate for the Chairmanship of PCB. Good luck to all stakeholders.”

Najam Sethi assumed the role of interim chairman in December 2022, following the resignation of Ramiz Raja over disagreements with the Board of Governors (BoG) regarding the future of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Sethi was appointed by the BoG, the governing body of the PCB, and has been serving in an interim capacity since then.

The political landscape in Pakistan has been marked by tensions between Asif Zardari and Shehbaz Sharif, prominent figures in the country’s political arena. Najam Sethi’s withdrawal from the race for PCB chairman is a direct consequence of this political turmoil. Recognizing the potential negative impact on the board’s functioning, Sethi opted to remove himself from contention, prioritizing the stability of the PCB over personal ambitions.

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With Najam Sethi stepping down, attention now turns to the selection of the next PCB chairman. Earlier this month, Pakistan Federal Minister Ehsan Mazari had indicated that Zaka Ashraf would assume the position. Mazari had clarified that Sethi’s tenure as interim chairman was specifically intended to oversee the PCB chairman elections, and it is set to conclude on June 21. The announcement of the new chairman is eagerly anticipated, as it will shape the future direction of Pakistan cricket.

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