The PCB has encountered notable challenges and received considerable criticism in recent times, encompassing issues such as the suspension and subsequent restoration of department cricket, fluctuations in the players’ lineup, and the appointment of an inexperienced captain. Within this context of turbulence, the significance of consistent leadership cannot be overstated, as it plays a pivotal role in establishing stability, cultivating a clear strategic vision, and executing impactful measures to propel the board’s long-term plans.
Regrettably, Najam Sethi’s decision to withdraw from the race for PCB chairman has introduced a new layer of uncertainty and potential disruption to the already challenging landscape. His withdrawal comes at a critical juncture when the PCB requires strong and stable leadership to address prevailing issues. Sethi’s experience and expertise could have provided valuable leadership continuity that these young player’s desperately need. It is disappointing that someone who was initially considered a front-runner had to drop out due to political pressures. The involvement of political figures in sports administration has long been a contentious issue in Pakistan. Sethi’s withdrawal underscores the influence of political rivalries on the functioning of the PCB. Rather than focusing on the merits of the candidates and the best interests of the organisation, political considerations took precedence, further compromising the autonomy and integrity of the PCB.
The appointment of Zaka Ashraf and Mustafa Ramday as board members raises questions about their expertise and their ability to effectively steer the organisation out of a tumultuous situation. Sethi on the other hand already had a proven track record of doing so. Let us not forget that there is already much doubt among players, which can prove detrimental to Pakistan cricket in the long run. Moving forward, it is imperative for the PCB to prioritise stability, competence and effectiveness.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2023.
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