Pakistan cricket on Monday plunged into crisis as the Islamabad High Court, which had restored Zaka Ashraf as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, declared in its detailed judgement all decisions taken by the Najam Sethi-led management committee since February as "null and void".
The judgement means all the decisions taken by Sethi-led Board now stand void, including the appointments of Moin Khan as chief selector and manager, Waqar Younis as head coach, Mushtaq Ahmed as spin bowling coach, Grant Flower as batting coach, Zaheer Abbas as principal advisor to chairman on cricket affairs and even termination of nearly 150 employees.
The High Court in its judgement said it was necessary to suspend the government notification issued in February which brought Sethi in power at the expense of an elected Ashraf regime.
The release of the detailed judgement saw Ashraf arrive at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore to take charge with members of his governing board in tow.
Ashraf told reporters after a meeting of the governing board members that it is time the government accepts the court's decision and respects it.
"I respect the government and am keen to work with it but the decisions of the judiciary also must be respected and accepted," he said.
Ashraf, who was initially appointed chairman by then Pakistan President Asif Zardari in 2011, later got himself elected as chairman of PCB under a revised constitution which he says was approved by the International Cricket Council.
"I have done nothing wrong if there is a crisis in Pakistan cricket it is because some people are unjustly challenging my election as Chairman of the board. They are causing problems not me," he said when asked what he feels about the court regularly giving judgements on cricket issues and how the image of Pakistan cricket is damaged by such turn of events.
"I was legally elected chairman that is why the court restored me not once but twice. I think Najam Sethi needs to now accept this position and do something else. I am looking forward to working again for the betterment of Pakistan cricket," Ashraf said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif summoned the minister of sports and inter provincial coordination ministry Riaz Pirzada for a meeting to discuss the cricket crisis.
And indications are that Sethi and the inter provincial coordination ministry will file appeals before the Supreme Court challenging the High Court's decision to declare the government notification in February as null and void.
"We will fight this case vigorously and swiftly because all our interest is to professionalise Pakistan cricket and put it on right path," Sethi told reporters in Lahore.
Image: Waqar Younis
Photograph: Sandra Mu/Getty Images