Banker Ali Reza to replace Ijaz Butt as PCB chief?

Ijaz Butt is said to be the most vilified and criticised PCB chief, since he took over in October 2008 Getty Images

Karachi: Sep 28, 2011

Country’s top banker Ali Reza has emerged as a possible candidate to take over as Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman as incumbent Ijaz Butt may not get an extension, media reports say.

Some television channels reported on Tuesday that Ali Reza may be asked to replace Butt by next month.

“Yes there is some substance to these rumours but nothing is decided as yet and the President has yet to take a decision on this issue. But Ali Reza’s name is being considered for the top cricket post,” a government source said.

Sources said that Butt is interested in getting an extension but nothing was decided till the President Asif Ali Zardari, who is PCB Patron, left for Hong Kong on a private visit on Monday.

“Everything will be clear by next week because by that time it will be known who will represent Pakistan at the International Cricket Council Executive Board meeting on October 8 and 9th,” one source said.

He said, so far Butt was scheduled to attend the meeting but that could change at a short notice given the way the situation changes in Pakistan cricket.

“Butt is not going to attend the meeting of the Asian Cricket Council Finance Committee next month. Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmad will attend but Butt is definitely penciled in to attend the ICC meeting,” the source said.

Butt has been perhaps the most vilified and criticised Chairman of the board since he took over in October, 2008 and his critics blame him for running a one-man show and also for damaging relations with the ICC and other member nations.

But at the same time his supporters point out that the performance of the national team has improved a lot under Butt and he has succeeded in not only breaking the players’ power culture in the team but also introducing a culture of discipline by building up the bench strength and encouraging the policy of blooding new players.

“Don’t forget he has also managed to keep the PCB afloat financially despite no foreign team touring Pakistan and even after India cancelled its full tour in early 2009 due to the Mumbai terror attacks,” one supporter said.

The uncertainty surrounding Butt’s future is also obvious in the PCB with its employees unsure about what is going to happen in the next few days.

“Whatever happens the President must take a decision quickly and clear the uncertainty because Pakistan has an important series against Sri Lanka coming up and there is also the issue of appointing a new coach,” former Test captain Rashid Latif said

PCB insiders say there have been no indications from Butt that he is going as he has issued orders for projects in the near future.(PTI)