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Pakistan cricket round-up: Selector Iqbal Qasim asks to step down

In other news, Pakistan Cricket Board asked to re-elect new chairman within 90 days.

Iqbal Qasim, centre, denied he has had any problems with Misbah-ul-Haq, right, or Mohammad Hafeez, left.
Iqbal Qasim, centre, denied he has had any problems with Misbah-ul-Haq, right, or Mohammad Hafeez, left.

Iqbal Qasim, Pakistan's chief cricket selector, has asked to step down at the end of his tenure, he said Thursday, denying any rift with the national team's captain and coach.

"I have told the top officials of the PCB [Pakistan Cricket Board] that I have completed my tenure so they should appoint a new panel for future selection," Qasim told Agence France-Presse.

Qasim led the selection committee which on Wednesday named squads for one-days and Twenty20s for this month's tour of the West Indies, dropping flopped players Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and Imran Farhat, and recalling all-rounder Shahid Afridi.

Local media has regularly speculated about differences between Qasim, Pakistan cricket captain Misbah-ul-Haq and coach Dav Whatmore, and Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez over selection, but Qasim denied any rift.

"I had no differences with anyone," said Qasim, a former left-arm spinner who played 50 Tests and 15 one-days for Pakistan.

"I completed my tenure in April but then PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf requested me to continue till [July and] the West Indies tour, which I did," said Qasim.

Qasim's committee came under criticism after the team crashed out of the Champions Trophy in England last month.

He has served repeated tenures as chief selector. In 2010, he resigned after the team's 3-0 rout in Australia in 2010.

"The team wins and the team loses, which is part of the game so there should be no differences," said Qasim. "I thank Misbah, Whatmore and Hafeez for their cooperation."

Pakistan officials are yet to decide on Qasim's request to go, but say that a new selection panel will be announced later.

Pakistan will play five one-day and two Twenty20 matches in the Caribbean. They will tour Zimbabwe in August for two Tests, three one-day and two Twenty20 matches.

PCB ordered to re-elect new chairman

Meanwhile, a court in Pakistan on Thursday ordered the country's cricket board to re-elect a chairman within 90 days after Zaka Ashraf was suspended over concerns about a dubious ballot.

The decision from the Islamabad high court came after petitioners challenged a PCB ballot, which in May elected the incumbent chief Ashraf as chairman for four years.

The court last month termed Ashraf's election in the new process as "dubious" and "polluted" and the government appointed Najam Sethi as interim chairman until Ashraf's case was decided.

"Sethi should continue as interim PCB chairman but must hold elections within 90 days to elect a PCB chairman," the court ordered.

Ashraf was appointed chairman by PCB patron and the president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, in October 2011 under a previous PCB constitution.

But the PCB was forced to introduce a new constitution earlier this year after the International Cricket Council ordered an end to all undue government interference.

Sethi said the court would be obeyed.

"I took over on prime minister Nawaz Sharif's instruction on an interim basis and now as per the court orders we will hold elections," Sethi said after attending the hearing.

"We have to clear the mess in our cricket system," said Sethi who on Wednesday admitted Pakistan cricket was at its lowest ebb due to a string of controversies.

The presidential appointment of PCB heads was widely criticised by former players and officials as politically motivated, with the chairman coming from the same party as the president, a process also followed in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Top cricket nations like Australia, England, India and South Africa hold elections to chose their cricket heads.

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