ISLAMABAD, Aug 9, (AP): Newly-elected chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Najam Sethi says one of the challenges for him is to bring back international cricket to Pakistan.
“You know how much work we are doing in this regard and soon the results will be in front of you,” Sethi told reporters on Wednesday. Sethi, 69, will replace Shaharyar Khan, who quit because of health and personal reasons after completing his tenure.
Sethi was unopposed and was unanimously elected by a new 10-member PCB board of governors.
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.
Zimbabwe has been the only team to visit Pakistan since a terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team’s bus in Lahore in 2009. “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.”
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.
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 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.
Sethi will be travelling to Sri Lanka on Thursday to chair the meeting of the Asian Cricket Council. He said he will discuss the Sri Lankan team’s tour to Pakistan later this year.
Pakistan is due to host Sri Lanka in October in the United Arab Emirates and Sethi said Pakistan wants to host Sri Lanka in Pakistan after the series ends in the UAE.