Karachi, June 1: Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) former Chairman Najam Sethi today withdrew his candidature for the ICC President's post and requested the PCB to nominate a former Test great for the position.
Sethi, who is presently a senior member of the Board and heads its executive committee, said the withdrawal was with immediate effect and that he has requested the PCB to nominate an ex-Test cricketer in his place.
"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," he wrote in a letter to ICC Chairman N Srinivasan.
"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 added.
Sethi was slated to take over as ICC President later this month at the world body's annual meeting in Barbados replacing Bangladesh's Mustafa Kamal, who resigned earlier this year owing to differences with Srinivasan.
PCB Sources said the Board was now considering several names to nominate in place of Sethi and all of them were former Test captains. "At the moment Majid Khan and Zaheer Abbas appear front runners. There was talk of inviting Rameez Raja to accept this position but he is tied up with his many media commitments," one source said.
The decision by Sethi to withdraw his nomination at such a late stage has prompted speculation as to whether there might be a change at the top of the PCB leadership. Presently, Shaharyar Khan is heading the board but Sethi has always been seen as most likely to again head the PCB in the future.