Butt's future hangs in balance

Ijaz Butt might seek to get himself elected as chairman by the general body members for the next three years AFP

Lahore: Aug 16, 2011

Ijaz Butt’s future as the PCB chief hangs in balance, with his family reportedly not in favour of the former Test player seeking an extension when his term ends on October 8.

Butt, who has succeeded in marginalising the players’ power in the national team and introduced the culture of giving increased exposure to new and young players, said he will decide on his future only after he knows what board’s chief patron, President Asif Zardari wishes to do.

Reports say that Zardari has unofficially told Butt that his tenure will be extended beyond October 8.

“But the issue now is what Butt himself wants because in recent times it is no secret that there is growing pressure on him from his family to step down from the PCB post,” a source said.

“Butt himself has hinted he might not want to continue beyond October 8 several times during internal meetings as his business and family commitments have suffered in the last two years due to his role as PCB chairman,” the source said.

Interestingly there have also been reports that Butt might seek to get himself elected as chairman by the general body members for the next three years.

“That is unlikely to happen soon because for that the constitution of the board has to be amended in line with the new ICC constitutional amendments for member countries and it will take time to get the constitution amended and approved by the government,” a source said.

He pointed out that several general body members had been telling the media about their desire and plans to vote and get Butt re-elected, but insisted this could not happen until the constitution was amended.

“The draft of the amended constitution has been lying in storage for many months so it is highly unlikely the government would allow it to be amended so soon,” the source said.

He also noted that constitutional amendments enabling general body members to elect the chairman would also mean a reduction in the government and political interference in cricket matters.

“They are people in the government who don’t want this to happen.”

Butt’s tenure that began in October 2008, has been a controversial one. The militants attack on the Sri Lankan team in March 2009, the spot-fixing scandal involving Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif being his law points.

“But overall he has done a good job and managed to streamline things and end politics in the team. More importantly results wise the team has done well in his tenure despite not being able to play at home because of foreign teams refusing to tour because of security concerns.

“Pakistan won the T20 World Cup and reached the semi- final of the 2011 World Cup in his tenure. It has also done well otherwise with the emergence of some new players.”

The source said that despite foreign teams not visiting Pakistan, Butt has managed to keep the financial affairs of the board streamlined and now, the board coffers have plenty of reserves which was not the case when he took charge in 2008.

“If Butt can manage to convince the Indian Cricket Board to resume bilateral cricket ties before his tenure ends it would certainly be the biggest achievement of his tenure.” (PTI)