On Monday, with barely a month left in his imminent appointment as interim president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) for a year, Najam Sethi withdrew his candidature for the post, allowing the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to nominate a former test-cricketer instead. Alluding to the recent feel-good factor generated by the Zimbabwe tour, he expressed his desire to honour a former Pakistani test-cricket hero. While his altruistic gesture is highly appreciated on its own merit it doesn’t preclude a concentrated discussion on the PCB (where Mr Sethi still holds a position in the powerful executive committee) and its excessively political nature, which has been the subject of news much more that the sporting team it manages – an antithesis of what sporting board is supposed to be.

While there is no apparent reason to doubt his altruistic motivation, his move does seem to tie in with his present political predicament. Sethi has come under a lot of flak after Imran Khan’s tirade against him; accusing him of election fraud in the 2013 general election, during which he held the post of caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab. The withdrawal wins him appreciation and also precludes him from a high profile position – which is largely ceremonial anyway – and that would have put him under the public spotlight even further. A real gesture of altruism would require Mr Sethi to step down from his post in the PCB and allow a restructuring of the flawed institution. Political convention requires a minister, or a chairman to resign if his department has failed or he himself is embroiled in scandal; and PCB under Sethi’s influence has seen both. The team is embroiled in captaincy tussles, partisanship, conflict and a general drop in form which has seen Pakistan suffer humiliating defeats against opponents it has historically defeated, the team selection has been far from transparent, and Sethi himself is involved in much serious allegations.