Islamabad: A court on Tuesday suspended the caretaker chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, the second time in five months the game's chief administrator has been thrown out on a legal challenge.
The order to suspend Najam Sethi is the latest twist in a legal saga that has plunged the administration of the game, followed fanatically by millions of Pakistanis, into turmoil since May.
Sethi was appointed in June after the Islamabad High Court threw out then-chairman Zaka Ashraf over what it called the "dubious" process by which he was elected.
The same court has now suspended Sethi following a petition from a cricket official in Punjab province complaining that Sethi had ignored a court order to hold an election for the chairmanship by October 18.
"Sethi, by not holding elections, has disobeyed the court's order and he is suspended and all the matters relating to the board will be handled by PCB secretary," the court said.
Justice Munir Shaikh, a former Supreme Court judge, was named chairman of the election committee and was ordered to hold a vote for chairman by the last week of November.
The court also suspended a five-man interim management committee named by the government earlier this month to try to end the wrangling in the game. The legal drama began after the International Cricket Council (ICC), the world governing body, demanded measures to end political interference in the sport.
The appointment of the PCB chairman has traditionally been in the gift of the Pakistani president in his role as patron of the board, and the practice was seen as highly politicised.
To follow ICC rules, Ashraf -- who had been appointed by then-president Asif Ali Zardari -- stood successfully for election to the job, but was struck down following a legal challenge which argued that the process had been flawed.
Former fast bowling star Waqar Younis last week called for a swift end to the legal wrangling which he said was damaging cricket in Pakistan.