Potential Leadership Shift at Pakistan Cricket Board: Zaka Ashraf’s Exit and Najam Sethi’s Return

Pakistan Cricket Board

A leadership reshuffle is looming over the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), with indications pointing towards the departure of Zaka Ashraf and a possible return of Najam Sethi as the chairman. This move comes in the backdrop of recent political developments within Pakistan, as the nation’s government transitions into a caretaker status in preparation for upcoming elections.

Also Read: Najam Sethi Withdraws from the Race for PCB Chairmanship

Zaka Ashraf’s tenure at the helm of the PCB may be cut short, and the spotlight is on Najam Sethi, the predecessor Ashraf took over from in July. This potential shift is intricately tied to the changing political landscape. With the incumbent government, led by Shehbaz Sharif, entering a caretaker phase on August 9, discussions have gained momentum about the need to remove political appointees to ensure a fair and impartial electoral process.

Against this backdrop, the Election Commission of Pakistan communicated its recommendation to the government, urging the removal of all politically appointed heads of institutions to prevent any potential bias. In response, the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) addressed the matter with a letter to the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary. The letter identified Zaka Ashraf as one such political appointee who could be affected by this directive.

Quoting the IPC’s note, it read: “To ensure immediate termination of services of all heads of institutions headed appointed on political basis and to send all such cases to the commission for approval of termination or otherwise.”

The IPC’s secretary, Ahmad Hanif Orzakai, endorsed the letter, putting into motion the possibility of Zaka Ashraf’s removal from the position of chairman of the managing committee at PCB.

Traditionally, the appointment of the PCB chairman has been a political decision, but Ashraf’s ascension to the role took a unique path. His appointment followed the stepping down of Najam Sethi, as the Pakistan People’s Party sought to exert influence over the federal sports ministry by nominating their candidate for the position. Consequently, Zaka Ashraf assumed leadership of the PCB.

As Pakistan readies itself for an election, the PCB’s potential leadership change underscores the intersection of politics and cricket administration. With Najam Sethi’s name in the mix, there could be a return to a familiar face in this critical role. The evolving narrative promises to reshape the dynamics of cricket administration in Pakistan, warranting close attention as events unfold in the coming weeks.