Ijaz Butt, the current Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman, is undoubtedly the most controversial figure in the country’s cricket history.
Butt is a former cricketer and people who believed in this country that cricket should be run by cricketers, would have surely thought, that he was the right man for the right job, and that his appointment would bring better results for Pakistan cricket in the days to come.
However, the 72-year-old disappointment everyone with his performance, at least so far. If we dissect what the real problem is, we realise that it’s pretty much everywhere.
To begin with, the Lahore born wicket-keeper is a way too old for a man to be taught what he is suppose to do.
He is already in his 70’s and yes, which means that he already passed the normal retiring age, which is 60 year in this country’s case.
If there is a case to be built about what have gone wrong under Mr. Butt’s tenure, we can surely count at least these five points, which shows why Pakistan cricket is suffering with every passing day.
1- 6 Captains Changed:
Looking back over the most of last 2 decades, instability is the word that suits Pakistan cricket, where the Men in Green saw 15 different Captains in last 19 years, and 6 just in last 2 years, which was obviously thanked the charismatic leadership of Mr. Ijaz Butt.
In the same time period, Australia had 4 (in last 23 years), South Africa & Sri Lanka had 4 (in 19 years) , & even India, whom we always compares ourselves too, had just 5 Captains over the past 19 years.
The man who represented Pakistan in eight Tests during 1959-1962, clearly couldn’t managed the keep to his word, when he publicly supported Shoaib Malik just two weeks before his dismissal from captaincy, primarily citing players power as the main reason for such a absurd decision.
After that, the 72-year-old faced another embarrassment, when he had to remove Younis Khan, just few months after he was made captain of the team, once again due to increasing player power.
The most unfortunate part of the player power story was the character called Yawar Saeed (Pakistan team manager), who was one of the closest colleague of the chairman in the board, remained the focal point of the movement against player power movement against Younis Khan.
Once that chapter was closer, Mr. Butt then appointed Mohammad Yousuf, but soon after removed him as well after a dismal Australian Tour.
The story just didn’t finished there, as he then appointed Salman Butt as a Captain, but his tenure was a brief one, which came to a pre-mature end after Spot Fixing scandal.
At that very time, the incapacity of the chairman once again became visible, as he couldn’t show the kind of authority needed to be shown back then.
PCB looked weak, the management looked poor, and players lacked the backing they needed back then.
In the end, he finally appointed Shahid Afridi as ODI and T20I captain and Misbahul Haq as a Test captain.
However, by the looks of things, it seems that the 72-year-old still haven’t learn the lesson, as he is still publicly putting pressure on the newly appointed captain Shahid Afridi, when the mega even is less than a month away.
2- PCB is alone now:
PCB, during Butt’s Tenure becomes a lonely bird in the nest, because he ruined the relationship with different Cricket Boards unnecessarily. He first ruined the relationship with the Srilankan Cricket Board due to his non-serious attitude towards the security of the Srilankan team when they were on the tour to Pakistan. That led to an incident where the Srilankan team was attacked on March 03, 2009, and the doors of International Cricket were forced to be closed for an indefinite period. He then ruined the relationship with the Bangladesh Cricket Board, after they refused to tour Pakistan with security concerns, after Srilankan Team was attacked in Lahore. Since then, BCB has asked PCB 3 times for a bi-lateral series, but every time PCB turned down their request. If that was not it, he then he ruined the relationship with the ECB, when he alleged the English team of Match Fixing on National Television after the 3rd ODI in Oval in 2010, where Pakistan beat them by 19 runs. The result was such that the ECB, who once wanted to host for Pakistan as a neutral venue, have officially denied hosting any neutral venue series for Pakistan in England in the future, even after Mr. Butt’s apology, which was of no use in the end.
3- Leaving Players when they needed Support:
Ejaz Butt was unfortunately the chairman of PCB, when the “Spot Fixing” scandal was brought up by an English Tabloid. Pakistan’s 3 premier players were accused of Spot Fixing and the whole of Pakistani Nation as well as the Cricket World was shell shocked by the allegations. Ejaz Butt, as the Chairman of the board, had the responsibility to support those players until they found guilty as they were our National Heroes back then, but it was totally the opposite way around. Ejaz Butt was disappeared as well as the whole of the PCB, and the players were left all alone to deal with the whole world even before when they were found guilty of anything.
4- Bad Management:
Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked in Lahore, and not only Pakistan lost a friend, the doors were shut for International Cricket in Pakistan for an unidentified time period. Even after that, he failed to control the players power problem, as well as the ability to control players from doing anything wrong, which led to the Spot fixing scandal.
5- Never Accepts Mistakes:
Ejaz Butt has committed mistakes after mistake and blunder after blunders, but not for once he accepted it and tried to learn from it.
From the mistake of removing Shoaib Malik from the captaincy on no grounds to “Spot Fixing” scandal, where he along with the board members vanished from the scene, he committed mistakes that might haunt Pakistan Cricket in the time to come.
To conclude, Mr. Ejaz Butt is seeming to be a person, whose is self – centered, and is too conceited to look at things that he might be doing wrong, which makes us finally conclude that the 72-year-old should never have been appointed as a chairman of the PCB in the first place.