Sunday, May 23, 2010

Butt on Fire

Miffed at his dictatorial style of functioning, Pakistani senators today launched a verbal attack on PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt, saying that he must go.

"He is the cause of all problems and we would urge President Asif Zardari to spare Pakistan cricket from this man," Senator Humayun Akhtar said after a meeting with Butt here today.

During the meeting, Butt refused to honour a commitment from Wasim Bari, the PCB chief operating officer, that the Board would uphold its contractual terms with a construction company, involved in the construction of a new pavilion building at the Gaddafi stadium.

The PCB had refused to pay the amount demanded by the company which then took the case to the Senate Standing Committee on Sports for a resolution.

"On May 20, the PCB chief operating officer gave us in writing, commitments that they would resolve the issue with the company and pay them their dues. Butt didn't attend that meeting as he was not in the country
"Today when we called him he simply refused to accept the agreement and said the Board would not pay (the sum) to company. We don't understand what sort of institution is he running, it is a joke," Senator Tariq Azeem said.

Azeem said Butt was running a one-man show and this must stop as it was creating all the problems in Pakistan cricket.

"We want to know what steps the Board has taken to pursue suspicions and allegations about some of our players being involved in match-fixing. Why should the ICC be looking into this issue why is the board not conducting its own inquiry," Azeem said.

Senator Akhtar said that the Board should form its own judicial body to probe into the match-fixing allegations.

"We said it before that the Board must act on this issue but they have done nothing," he said.
Akhtar said that the Senators would be taking up the issue of match-fixing allegations with the chief patron soon and would ask him to order an independent probe.

In the leaked recordings of the PCB enquiry committee, former coaches Intikhab Alam and Aaqib Javed have reportedly talked about suspicions over the performance of Kamran Akmal and Rana Naved in some matches of the Australian tour early this year.

Meanwhile, the PCB appeals judge today asked Younis Khan to approach high court if the cricketer was not satisfied with the working of the appellate tribunal.

Justice (retd) Irfan Qadir, who is hearing the appeals of six cricketers against their bans and fines, adjourned hearing of Shoaib Malik appeal until May 29 and that of Rana Naved-ul Hasan to June 12.

The next hearing of Younis Khan's appeal is due to be heard on May 29.

Qadir had rejected Younis's appeal to conduct an open hearing and had also dismissed his request of suspension of his ban.

"If Younis is not satisfied with the way the appeal hearing is being held he has the right to go to the High Court," Justice Qadir told the media.

He said other players were not in favour of open hearing.

"The other players say that if the hearings are made open to the media it will result in more controversies and scandals and they are not comfortable with open hearings," Qadir said.

He further stated that he was keen to quickly dispose of the appeals of the players but the due process of law had to be followed.

The appeals judge also made it clear that he would not be summoning the members of the PCB inquiry committee for cross examination during the hearings.

"When the PCB is being represented by a lawyer there is no need to call committee members now. The lawyer is there to present the viewpoint of the board," he said.

He also pointed out that all available evidence material had been given to the players and their lawyers.

The PCB in March on the recommendations of its inquiry committee banned and fined seven players on various charges.

Exception for Muhammad Yousuf, who has announced his retirement from international cricket, all the other players have lodged appeals against the penalties.

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