Pak parliamentary committee baying for PCB chief Ijaz Butt’s blood

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The Chairman of Pakistan National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Sports, Iqbal Mohammad Ali, has appealed to President and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) patron Asif Ali Zardari to remove PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt, who he feels is responsible for the continued deterioration of the national team.

In a two-page letter written to the President, Ali said that Butt’s administration has seen the team reduced to the status of ‘minnows.’

“The chairman and his close aides have shoddily let down your confidence in them by making a mockery of management ethics at the board,” The Daily Times quoted Ali, as saying.

“It is therefore recommended that a very dynamic and energetic administrator be made the chairman of the board so that the affairs of cricket in Pakistan are run professionally.”

“The incompetence of Ijaz has already brought enough shame for our country at international level,” he added.

The board has also seen through five different Test captains in just over a year – Shoaib Malik, Younus Khan, Mohammed Yousuf, Shahid Afridi and Salman Butt – and Ali said that Butt and the management were responsible for such a ‘comedy of errors.’

He also alleged that the present team manager Yawar Saeed, whom he said is a close aide of Butt, was supporting certain “groups of players in the team which is destroying the unity”.

The standing committees of the Senate and National Assembly cannot take direct action against any organistion, but they can pass on suggestions to the government. “There’s a possibility of an international XI touring Pakistan within one year, but it’s impossible for the present board working under Ijaz Butt to fully revive international cricket in Pakistan,” Mani was quoted as sayng is the Urdu language daily Jang on Wednesday.

The PCB is yet to submit a report on last year’s militant attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team’s bus at Lahore that left six police officials and a van driver dead. The gunmen also injured several Sri Lankan team players and officials.

A Lahore high court judge has heavily criticised senior police officials in his report for being ill-prepared, poorly equipped and incompetent in their efforts to prevent the attack on March 3, 2009.

“Until this report is handed over to the ICC, revival of international cricket in Pakistan is impossible,” he said.

Mani said the PCB had promised presidential level security to the Sri Lankan cricket team, but “it has thus far not been able to fix the responsibility of the attack on anyone.”

Mani said he was willing to help Pakistan, but he needed complete independence to run the affairs of cricket.

“If the board is run like it is nowadays, it will affect the team’s performance,” he said.

“There is lot of confusion in the decision making of the PCB which is also damaging country’s image.”

Mani also said the actions of PCB chairman Butt to be more accountable saying; “without accountability there is no chance of improvement.”

Parliamentarian Iqbal Mohammad Ali has also written a two-page letter to President Asif Ali Zardari, the PCB’s patron, calling for the removal of Butt as PCB chairman.

Butt took over from Nasim Ashraf in Oct. 2008, but has since come under severe criticism by former test cricketers and parliamentarians.
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