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Pakistan's Sethi withdraws candidature for ICC president

Lahore: Former Pakistan cricket chief Najam Sethi on Monday withdrew as sole nominee for the presidency of the game's world governing body, calling for a top former player to take his place. Sethi, who quit as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) last year after a long series of court battles in a power struggle with his predecessor, had been nominated for the post of International Cricket Council (ICC) president. The ICC was due to consider Sethi's nomination in their board meeting in Barbados later this month and he would have taken charge for one year from July 1.

But Sethi said the ICC's recent announcement that the president's post will only be open to leading former players from July 2016 prompted him to take the decision. "I have withdrawn my candidature," Sethi said. "Since the ICC announcement... 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."

The post of ICC president has become largely ceremonial after the body passed reforms last year which made the chairman the head of the organisation. The role now rotates among member countries who nominate people for the post. Sethi had been due to take over from Bangladesh's Mustafa Kamal, who had a bitter falling out with the ICC in March.

Kamal levelled serious allegations against the umpires in Bangladesh's quarter-final defeat against India in the World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, accusing them of bias towards India and he resigned in protest in April. The post has remained vacant as Bangladesh did not nominate a replacement. The PCB said it will nominate another candidate in due course. Former captains Zaheer Abbas, Majid Khan and Asif Iqbal are seen as front runners for the nomination.

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