Najam Sethi, the newly appointed chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), immediately got to work by outlining his position on the bilateral cricketing relations between Pakistan and India. After Ramiz Raja was fired on Thursday, Sethi assumed control of the PCB. Sethi has been named as the chairman of the 14-member committee in charge of overseeing Pakistan’s cricket operations for the ensuing four months.
“Governments in both countries have to be consulted when it comes to bilateral and other cricket relations between Pakistan and India,” Sethi told reporters in Lahore. Since ACC chairman and BCCI secretary Jay Shah announced that India won’t travel to Pakistan for next year’s Asia Cup and that the tournament will be moved to a neutral venue, the BCCI and PCB have been at odds. Raja had threatened to cancel the ODI World Cup that was slated to be held in India in the second half of 2023 as a severe form of revenge.
Sethi, who served as chairman and CEO from 2013 to 2018 before stepping down after the Imran Khan-led government gained office in 2018, seems dissatisfied with the selection of the Pakistan Test squad by the previous administration for the home series against New Zealand. “I don’t know whether there is a need to make changes in the squad, we will see if fresh ideas are required. It would have been better if the squad had not been announced,” he said.
The management committee was officially established by the government on Wednesday night, and Ramiz Raja was fired in the process. However, the current chief selector Muhammad Wasim declared the team for the NZ series. Sethi made it quite obvious that the Board would undergo adjustments, particularly those pertaining to cricket. “I think we had done a good job in our four-five year tenure before I resigned. But what has happened in the last four years everyone can see,” he said.
The country’s prime minister, according to Sethi, wanted departmental teams and regional cricket organisations to be revived. “That is our main priority to revive departmental cricket because in the last four years we have seen a terrible rise in unemployment and a famine in cricket talent. The old system worked well for us and we got players from domestic cricket. Nowadays it seems we are only getting players from PSL,” he said.