Sethi admits to ECB reservations over Latif appointment

Source: Published in Sports on Friday, April 25, 2014

KARACHI: The Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Najam Sethi, has admitted that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was unhappy over Rashid Latif’s appointment as chief selector.

Responding to Latif’s claim that the PCB was swayed by ECB’s stance, Sethi said he had offered the post to the former captain despite those reservations.

“I nominated Rashid Latif as chief selector despite common knowledge that his support of Danish Kaneria's case was not appreciated by the British cricket establishment,” said Sethi in an interview.

“If he had accepted the post he would have been a deterrent to corrupt elements in Pakistan cricket because of his power as chief selector to blacklist potentially corrupt players from the national team,” added Sethi.

Sethi felt Latif had failed to comprehend the scope and power of the chief selector.

“He [Latif] agreed initially but then changed his mind, maybe because he didn't understand the potential power he could have wielded in the crusade against corrupt players. I am sorry he decided not to serve as chief selector.”

In a mail sent to Dawn on Wednesday, Latif wrote: “Your (Dawn reporter’s) story is one hundred per cent correct. How can the PCB deny that the ECB had expressed its reservations over my appointment due to my support of Danish Kaneria when I was informed about it by none other than Chairman Najam Sethi himself?

“This meeting was held in the chairman’s office at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Feb 26, 2014 between 3.00pm and 4.00pm,” continued Rashid.

“PCB chairman told me ‘you are a great supporter of Danish Kaneria and ECB have reservations on this, that’s why the PCB may have problems with the ECB if you take over as head of Anti corruption of PCB. Maybe England will not play against Pakistan in future because of this.

“COO Subhan Ahmed was also present in meeting and he also agreed with chairman PCB, I fail to understand why they are denying it now?”

Latif further wrote: “I am not a big supporter of Kaneria but I want justice for him because I think both PCB and ECB may be involved in his exit from international and domestic cricket to protect English county cricket. Why, I may ask, did Zaka Ashraf, and now Sethi, support Mohammad Amir’s case so vociferously in the ICC meetings, why couldn’t they demand a fair inquiry into Kaneria’s case?

“Amir, in fact, is a proven culprit in spot-fixing case and is serving his ban for that, but nothing has been produced against Kaneria in black and white by either the ECB or the ICC, at least not for the media to assess openly and judge for themselves,” argued Latif.

“Here, I must point out that neither myself nor the PCB chief had said anything to the media about the above-mentioned meeting on ECB pressures before today. However, I am compelled to put the facts right since the PCB has denied a story which was absolutely true,” Latif concluded.

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