Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered cricket authorities to hold fresh elections within a week to end a 14-month administrative crisis that has sparked international ridicule. (AFP Photo)
LAHORE: Pakistan's Supreme Court on Monday ordered cricket authorities to hold fresh elections within a week to end a 14-month administrative crisis that has sparked international ridicule.
The saga began in May last year when the then-chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Zaka Ashraf, was suspended for holding dubious elections.
Since then, Ashraf and journalist Najam Sethi have been engaged in a power struggle for the top job. Each was reinstated in turn while the other was thrown out of office through a series of court rulings and government decrees.
Sethi is the current chairman, having been restored for the third time earlier this month.
On Monday the Supreme Court said the PCB must hold fresh elections for the chairman's post under its newly ratified constitution.
Sethi said he would not not contest the election.
"After today's ruling I am restored until the elections are held and I will sit in the governing board but will not be contesting the election for chairman's post," he announced.
Local media last month reported that Sethi would create a new position of PCB managing director for himself, with the chairman becoming a ceremonial post. The report was denied by the body.
"I had said before, and I am saying this now, that I had no long-term interest in the PCB and my long-term interest is only in the media," said Sethi, a long time newspaper editor and TV anchor.
The musical chairs game for the top job has made the PCB a laughing stock overseas, with the International Cricket Council showing concern over who it should talk to on administrative matters.
Traditionally, the government of the day has appointed its own candidate as head of the PCB, a system, which has come in for criticism from former players including Imran Khan.