Ijaz Butt takes credit for Pakistan's revival

Ijaz Butt faced lot of criticism during his three year stint as PCB chief AFP

Lahore: Jan 21, 2012

Much criticised former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ijaz Butt has insisted that the present performance of the national team has vindicated the decisions taken by the board during his tenure.

“Pakistan has achieved the unthinkable by upsetting England in the first Test. Whatever we did to revive our cricket team is vindicated,” Butt told PTI.

The former Test cricketer faced lot of criticism during his three year stint as the chief of the PCB before being replaced by present chairman, Zaka Ashraf in October last year.

Many critics and former players blamed Butt for a one-man show in Pakistan cricket and not respecting senior players especially after his standoff with former one-day skipper, Shahid Afridi, which led to his sacking as captain.

“When we decided to appoint Misbah-ul-Haq as captain for all three formats of the game there was lot of criticism directed at me and the board. But he has lived up to the expectations and faith we had in him. Misbah has shown he is a mature and sensible captain,” he insisted.

Butt, whose tenure saw the attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009 and the spot-fixing scandal in 2010, said he had taken decisions keeping in mind the long term benefits of the Pakistan cricket.

“I am happy to see the team doing so well for the past many months,” he said.

Butt attributed the consistently good performances to more discipline among the players and in the team.

“The players are taking pride in their performances and there is competition for places in the team which is a good and positive sign,” he said.

Butt said the team management deserved a lot of credit for installing a new disciplined culture in the team. He said he might have made mistakes in his tenure but his intention was always to see Pakistan cricket team do well.

“At the end of the day the board and the players are partners and should have one common aim to see Pakistan win,” he stressed.

Butt, however, said Pakistan would have to work harder to win the series against England.

“England is a top side so the players need to remain focused. But if Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul and other bowlers continue their form Pakistan can get more victories,” he said. (PTI)