ISLAMABAD -  The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday issued notices to Najam Sethi and Federal Ministry for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) in a petition challenging his appointment as an interim PCB chairman. IHC judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui also directed them to submit their reply in this connection and deferred the hearing till July 4. The court issued these directions while hearing a petition moved by Abdullah Tahir who had challenged the appointment of former caretaker chief minister Punjab and a renowned journalist Najam Sethi as an interim PCB chief. In his petition, he said that Sethi had no experience of cricket and his appointment was made in violation of the PCB constitution. During the hearing, Justice Siddqui observed that Sethi’s name was not included in the list of proposed candidates that was produced before the court by the IPC in another matter where a petitioner Major (retd) Ahmad Nadeem Suddle had challenged the election of the suspended PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf.  Justice Siddiqui observed that the acting chairman Sethi had no experience of the game of cricket. The IHC judge said that the PCB chairman should be a person who could run in Gaddafi Stadium. Petitioner Abdullah Tahir, through his counsel Tariq Asad advocate, contended before the court that he is a lawyer and enthusiast of cricket. “The appointment of Sethi not only lacks merit but also it may come under the clause of political appointment that is banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC),” the petitioner also said.  He added that in order to clean up the politics and pollution in cricket and upgrade its standard at international level, the ICC had taken a decision to ban political appointments in cricket boards to improve governance within the game. The reform would entitle the ICC to suspend a member country in the event of government interference in running of a national cricket board. Petitioner said Sethi had been appointed as interim PCB chief by the Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif after an IHC bench had restrained the chairman PCB Zaka Ashraf to function. Zaka was ordered to halt work on May 28 amid a row over his election. Petitioner further contended that Pakistan cricket was facing tremendous challenges at international level, thus handing over this project in the hands of an unprofessional, incompetent and untrained person without any relevant experience of management would prove to be harmful. The petitioner told the court that Sethi did not fulfill the pre-requisites under article 5 of the PCB constitution and was disqualified to be appointed as PCB chairman. He prayed to the court to declare the appointment of Sethi as illegal under provisions of the PCB constitution. Meanwhile, in the second matter where the court had suspended the PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf while hearing the writ petition of Major (retd) Ahmad Nadeem Suddle, the IHC bench allowed the early hearing application that was filed by the PCB. Now the court will take up both the matters on July 04. 

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