Nominated as Pakistan’s candidate for the post of ICC President, former Test captain Zaheer Abbas says he will strive to get more international teams to play in his country.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday nominated Abbas as their nominee after former Chairman Najam Sethi withdrew from the position.
Sethi, who now heads the PCB Executive Committee, was scheduled to take over as ICC President this month for a 12-month term but withdrew as world governing body said it was seeking distinguished ex-cricketers for the job.
The ICC will appoint the new President at its next board meeting to be held in Barbados later this month.
“I am honoured that the PCB has entrusted me this responsibility and I look forward to representing Pakistan in the ICC. I will use my position to talk to the other boards and the top officials in the ICC to convince them to support Pakistan in revival of international cricket in Pakistan after the successful tour by the Zimbabwean team,” Abbas told PTI.
Abbas, 67, earned the sobriquet of “Asian Bradman” for his run-making feats as he scored 108 centuries in his first class career and also represented Pakistan in 78 Tests and 62 one-day internationals.
Abbas, who last year was a member of the PCB’s management committee and also became consultant of the Pakistan team for a short while, said he wanted to be linked to cricket in whatever position.
“Though it is an honorary position but what is important is that the PCB has picked a former player for their nomination. It is a great way to pay tribute to the services of former players,” he said.
Zaheer said he was impressed by the decision taken by Najam Sethi to step down for the post of ICC President after being nominated by the PCB.
“Pakistan needs more representation in the ICC and it will be a new experience for me in this role,” he said.
Sethi in his letter to ICC Chairman N Srinivasan said he welcomed ICC’s move to make the job open for former cricketers.
“Since the ICC announcement that from next year the post of ICC President will be open only to iconic Test cricketers nominated by member Boards, I have increasingly felt that it is only fitting that this rule should be implemented straightaway so that one of Pakistan’s great iconic cricketers should be so honoured.
“Under the circumstances, I am withdrawing my nomination to ICC Presidency with immediate effect and requesting the Board of Governors of the Pakistan Cricket Board to nominate a great Pakistani ex-Test cricketer in my place.
“I apologise for this belated decision and any inconvenience caused to the ICC. But I am sure all ICC members will appreciate the spirit in which I have taken this decision,” Sethi wrote.