PCB chairman Ijaz Butt expected to meet ICC Task Team

PCB chairman Ijaz Butt is invited by ICC to attend the Lord’s Test where he is slated to meet ICC Task Team Getty Images

Karachi: Jul 18, 2011

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ijaz Butt is expected to have informal discussions with the members of the ICC Task Team during a visit to the Lord’s for the 2000th Test, the first match of the India-England series satrting on Thursday.

A PCB official said that Butt was due to come back home from abroad on July 21 but would now return after attending the Lord’s Test for which he was invited by the ICC.

“The Chairman will be going to Lords although there is no formal meeting scheduled there but it is likely he will have informal discussions with ICC President and Chief Executive and Giles Clarke head of the Task team and some of its members,” chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad said.

The PCB has sent a strong reply to the ICC in its observations on the Task Team report made public after the ICC meetings in Hong Kong last month.

The ICC Task Team, formed in 2009 after the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team, recommended several steps to improve Pakistan cricket structure and bring in changes, including reducing the powers of the chairman, reducing involvement of the government in cricket affairs and giving more powers to the governing body.

But the PCB in its observations sent to the ICC noted that the Task Team had made its report without bothering to visit Pakistan.

There is now talk about Clarke and Lorgat undertaking a visit to Pakistan and also meeting President Asif Zardari who is chief patron of the Board.

“So far we have no official intimation about the Task team visiting Pakistan soon but at lords this could be discussed by the ICC and Task team with our Chairman,” Ahmad said.

He noted that Pakistan would have no objection to the Task team wanting to visit Pakistan anytime in the future.

“We will welcome the step,” he added.

Sources said that Butt had only decided late to attend the 2000th Test celebrations and in order to reduce tension between it and the ICC and clear misunderstandings over the Task Team report.

There are also chances that Butt may talk to BCCI officials about any clear position of the Indian government on resumption of bilateral cricket ties between the two countries.

Ahmad said that all matters like the award of new central contracts to players would be finalised after Butt returns home later this month.