Pakistan appoints ex-judge to oversee leadership vote
Najam Sethi, interim chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), addresses a press conference in Lahore on June 24, 2013 - by Arif Ali
The post of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman has been held by rivals Zaka Ashraf and Najam Sethi five times each since May last year, leading to widespread ridicule at home and abroad.
Ashraf was first suspended by Islamabad high court over dubious elections. Sharif appointed Sethi, a journalist and former newspaper editor, to the post after he was elected prime minister last year.
The Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) which handles sport said judge Sair Ali would oversee the process.
"Justice Sair is appointed election commissioner with immediate effect as per requirements laid down in the new PCB constitution and will hold elections of PCB chairman within the next 30 days," said a statement.
Ali was one of the several judges who refused to provide legal cover for former military ruler Pervez Musharraf's 2007 imposition of emergency rule.
Under the PCB's recently reformed constitution, the chairman will be elected for a three-year tenure but can be voted out by the 10 member board of governors.
Former chairman and diplomat Shaharyar Khan, who held the post from 2003 to 2006, is seen as a favourite in the election.
The leadership crisis had raised the prospect of Pakistan being suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Two years ago the ICC had warned its member countries to chose their heads in a democratic manner without any government influence but since then they backed down after protests from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.