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Supreme court orders new Pakistan Cricket Board chairman election

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ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan supreme court directed Najam Sethi on Monday to continue as the country's cricket board chief for one week before an acting Pakistan Cricket Board chairman can be appointed to oversee new elections.

Pakistani cricket has been embroiled in administrative turmoil for more than a year with three chairmen taking the helm in the past seven months.

A two-member bench of the supreme court heard the case for five hours in Lahore on Monday after which judges Saqib Nisar and Anwar Zaheer Jamali directed the government to appoint an interim PCB chairman within seven days. The temporary chief will also act as election commissioner.

"The government will now follow the directions of the supreme court and will also implement the new constitution of the PCB," Irfanullah Khan, a government legal adviser said.

Sethi told the court that he would not be contesting the elections but said he could be part of the new governing board, which will be announced later.

The supreme court has also asked the government to implement a new cricket board constitution.

Khan said the supreme court also set aside an Islamabad High Court order to reinstate Zaka Ashraf as PCB chairman.

The power tussle at the top of the PCB started in May 2013 soon after Ashraf became the first elected chairman of the PCB.

Ashraf was suspended by the Islamabad High Court after a petition was filed by a former official of the Rawalpindi Cricket Association. The court described his election process as "polluted."

The government appointed Sethi as interim PCB chairman before the IHC asked the country's election commission to conduct elections while overruling all the decisions taken by Sethi.

But Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is also patron of the PCB, dissolved the governing board and appointed a five-member management committee that later elected Sethi as PCB chairman.

But Ashraf continued to resist and he was twice reinstated by the IHC this year before being replaced by Sethi within days.

Earlier this month, the government appointed a retired judge of the supreme court as interim PCB chairman, who will also act as election commissioner, but a day later the supreme court reinstated Sethi.

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