Najam Sethi, prior to his termination as Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) chairman, dedicated all his efforts towards resolving the dispute with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over the bilateral series matter.
After BCCI refused to honor the agreement, Sethi took the matter up to International Cricket Council (ICC) and made several trips to the Great Britain.
Earlier this week, ICC announced the verdict and discarded all of PCB’s claims. With Najam Sethi no longer in the driving seat, numerous sources claim that the verdict was very much expected despite Sethi terming it as a ‘strong case’.
Talking exclusively to a local media outlet, the current chairman of PCB, Ehsan Mani, claimed that he was “against the case from day one”.
Mani added that once he took charge of PCB, the matter was out of his hands and he could not shut down the dispute.
When I took the charge as PCB chairman, the proceedings of the case were almost over and we were on the weaker side so there was no option left we had to pursue it. I was told that before the decision was made regarding taking BCCI to the court over the matter, the board consulted leading legal experts from England’s Queen’s Counsel and they gave green signal for the case. But I believe in any litigation, there is all ways a risk.
He has also confirmed that BCCI will be filing a claim against PCB for the recovery of their expenses.
Today, we look underneath the surface to see whether Sethi’s intentions were actually directed towards the betterment of PCB or was it a ploy for other reasons.
Uncovering the Truth
Sources, which revealed information on the promise of anonymity, claimed that Najam Sethi was advised against proceeding with the dispute as it was a lost cause.
Despite that, Najam Sethi approved a budget of 1 million Pounds for the compensation of the case. Not only that, if Pakistan were to lose the case, which they have, the losing party has to cover the expenses for both parties.
So, not only Pakistan failed to recover the $70 million from India for refusing to honor the said agreement, the PCB now has to cover BCCI’s expenses of legal advisors and so forth.
The sources also pointed fingers at Najam Sethi for backing India as part of ‘big three’. The sources also added that the bilateral series agreement was not a strong one and it was understood if India refused the agreement then Pakistan had no grounds to hold them accountable.
In order to consult the advisors and hold meetings with the ICC, Najam Sethi made several trips to England, which cost Rs. 80 million in total.
The question which arises here is not why an obscene amount of money was spent but rather “where!”
In the past, ProPakistani covered the perks and funds available to the PCB chairman. In the report, the daily allowance for international tours was $650 with an additional $300 for accommodation in a 5-star hotel; raising the total daily allowance to $950.
By this logic, Sethi had to spent around 650 days abroad to justify the amount of money that was spent. Outrageous, isn’t it?
This is not the first time Najam Sethi has found himself in hot waters. Back in 2015, Najam Sethi was accused of avoiding taxes on his UK and US properties which are worth up to Rs. 25 crore. The allegations were made by Haroon Rasheed live on television.
Taking this example of gross misconduct, it is probably a blessing in disguise that Najam Sethi was replaced by Ehsan Mani as the new chairman of the PCB.