Pakistan’s new cricket boss eyes top flight tours
10 Aug 2017 - 0:50
Lahore: Newly elected Pakistan cricket chief Najam Sethi vowed yesterday to bring international competition back to the terror-hit country after years of isolation.
Sethi made the promise after being elected chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for a three-year term.
Sethi, 69, will replace Shaharyar Khan, who quit because of health and personal reasons after completing his tenure.
The new chief, whose first term as chairman in 2013 was marred by court wrangling, said bringing international cricket back to Pakistan would be a challenging but worthwhile goal.
“You know how much work we are doing in this regard and soon the results will be in front of you,” Sethi told reporters yesterday.
“We need to show patience because it is related to the security situation in the country,” Sethi told media.
Barring a limited-over series against Zimbabwe in 2015, Pakistan has not hosted foreign squads since a militant attack targeted the visiting Sri Lankan team in 2009.
As part of the revival of international cricket in Pakistan, the PCB is also planning to host a Twenty20 series against a World XI in Lahore. However, the final dates and which players are expected to come to Pakistan are yet to be decided.
“We hope to bring a World XI for a three-match Twenty20 series and the next two-three months will bring more good news,” said Sethi.
The cricket boss said he will also attend an Asian Cricket Council meeting in Colombo Saturday where he hopes to persuade Sri Lanka to send their team to Pakistan.
“We have invited Sri Lanka to play a few matches after their series with us and I will try to get a reply on that invitation,” said Sethi.
Pakistan are due to play a two-Test, three one-day and two Twenty20 match series with Sri Lanka in September-October, which will likely be held in the United Arab Emirates -- Pakistan’s neutral venue for its home series since 2009.
Pakistan’s deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had appointed Sethi as member of the board of governors last month.
It is mandatory, according to the PCB’s constitution, that the chairman should be elected from the members of the board of governors.
“Lots of people are disappointed but I request you to show some patience,” Sethi said. “There are security issues, one day we decide that a team will come and then something happens (in Pakistan), but over the next 2-3 months you will hear some good announcements.”
Sethi was also a former caretaker chief minister of the Punjab province and was the key official behind the successful staging of Pakistan’s domestic Twenty20 league.
Although the two editions of Pakistan Super League (PSL) were held in the United Arab Emirates, Sethi staged the final of the second edition of PSL at Lahore in March.
It will be Sethi’s second term as chairman of the PCB after he was involved in a legal battle over the leadership with former PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf. That ended in May 2014 when Sethi said he would not contest elections for the chairman’s post.