Butt will complete his tenure as PCB chief

PCB chairman Ijaz Butt at an ICC executive meeting Getty Images

Lahore: May 31, 2011

Despite all the criticism heaped on Ijaz Butt for his decision to remove Shahid Afridi as captain of the ODI team, there is no possibility of his being sacked as Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board in the near future.

Well-placed sources in the PCB and in the ministry of sports told PTI that Butt would complete his three-year tenure as board Chairman that ends in October this year.

“He will complete his tenure and there is no indication at all that the government wants to change the board Chairman despite the hue and cry raised in the media over Afridi’s sacking,” one source said.

Butt was appointed Chairman by President Asif Zardari in October, 2008 and since than his tenure has been plagued with controversies and scandals and he has been the target of some scathing criticism by the media.

But the former test player has survived, despite all these controversies which hit Pakistan cricket, including the attack on the Sri Lankan team and the spot-fixing scandal.

“The President still has full confidence in Butt’s ability to run cricket affairs and he will be in power atleast until October this year after which he can also try to get an extension if he wants from the President who is chief patron of the board,” the source said.

Butt interestingly has not only drawn criticism at home but also abroad but continues to thrive by taking decisions which normally one does not associate with the board.

“Like it nor not but Butt has shown and introduced a culture in Pakistan cricket where the players are no longer stronger than the establishment. The sacking of Afridi or the sidelining of seniors like Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Danish Kaneria, Younis Khan, Muhammad Yousuf etc is proof of this,” another source said.

The PCB still runs on ad-hoc basis with the Chairman holding all the powers although there is a governing board and council in the PCB.

“But the fact is despite all talk of an amended constitution, Butt still holds all the veto powers including the right to overturn selections by the national selectors,” the source noted.

Butt during his tenure has changed the test and one-day captains atleast 11 times and also sacked Australian Geoff Lawson as coach in 2008 and then brought in Waqar Younis instead of Intikhab Alam who is now the manager.

More importantly during his tenure thrice the chief selectors have either resigned or been removed for disagreeing with him.