Former diplomat elected as Pakistan cricket chief

AFP
Shaharyar Khan, former Pakistan foreign secretary, attends a news conference on December 11, 2008 in Washington, DC (AFP Photo/Chip Somodevilla)

Shaharyar Khan, former Pakistan foreign secretary, attends a news conference on December 11, 2008 in Washington, DC

Shaharyar Khan, former Pakistan foreign secretary, attends a news conference on December 11, 2008 in Washington, DC (AFP Photo/Chip Somodevilla)

Former diplomat Shaharyar Khan was Monday elected Pakistan's cricket chief for a three-year term, a move aimed at ending a 14-month leadership tussle which has left the governing body in disarray.

Khan, 80, becomes the 30th chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) but the only one to have a second tenure, having held the post between December 2003 to October 2006.

Khan was elected unopposed under the board's new constitution, which was adopted last month in a bid to resolve the dispute triggered in May last year when then-chairman Zaka Ashraf was suspended by Islamabad high court.

After Ashraf's suspension, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed veteran journalist Najam Sethi as PCB head. But court orders and government decrees saw Sethi swapping power with Ashraf five times.

The Supreme Court last month ordered elections under the new constitution and named a retired judge as interim PCB chief and election commissioner.

The PCB said in a statement Khan was unanimously elected unopposed by the 10-member board of governors.

Khan said he wanted to bring some stability to the PCB after the months of turmoil.

"I took this post to end the musical chairs of the chairmen and to have continuity in cricketing affairs," Khan told reporters.

"I want to put Pakistan cricket on the right path and do some things which I couldn't do in my first tenure, like strengthening grass-roots cricket and to have School and University cricket."

Khan, who also served as the country's foreign secretary between 1990-94, was appointed PCB head by military ruler General Pervez Musharraf but was removed after the fiasco in the Oval Test against England in 2006.

Pakistan forfeited that Test after then-skipper Inzamam-ul Haq refused to lead the team onto the field in protest at being penalised by the umpires for ball-tampering.

Khan was blamed for not handling the matter properly.

But his experience as foreign secretary was credited as being instrumental in reviving Pakistan-India ties in 1999.

Then Pakistan toured India after a gap of 12 years, with Khan as team manager.

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