SLAMABAD: Iqbal Mohammad Ali, a leading Pakistan parliamentarian, has appealed to the countrys president and patron Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Asif Ali Zardari, to remove PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, who he feels is responsible for the continued deterioration of the national side. In a scathing two-page letter written to the President, Ali argues that Ijazs administration has seen the team reduced to the status of minnows.
The last year has been a particularly torrid one for Pakistan, their win in the ICC World Twenty20 last year followed by a disastrous tour of Australia. Several senior players were either fined or banned by the PCB in the aftermath of that tour, though most of the punishments were overturned soon after. Currently, after beating Australia in the Headingley Test in their ongoing tour of England, they capitulated to scores of 80 and 72 in their two Tests against England, which they lost comprehensively.
The chairman and his close aides have shoddily let down your confidence in them by making a mockery of management ethics at the board, wrote Ali, who also heads the National Assemblys Standing Committee on Sports. The standing committees of the Senate and National Assembly cannot take direct action against any organistion, but they can pass on suggestions to the government. It is therefore recommended that a very dynamic and energetic administrator be made the chairman of the board so that the affairs of cricket in Pakistan are run professionally. The incompetence of Ijaz has already brought enough shame for our country at international level.
Former players like Aamer Sohail, Abdul Qadir and Iqbal Qasim held senior positions in the PCB but resigned and Ali blamed Ijaz for their departure. He said they quit due to egocentric and autocratic attitude of Ijaz. The board has also seen through five different Test captains in just over a year Shoaib Malik, Younus Khan, Mohammed Yousuf, Shahid Afridi and Salman Butt and Ali said Ijaz and the management were responsible for such a comedy of errors. Ali also alleged that the present team manager Yawar Saeed, whom he said was close to Ijaz, was supporting certain groups of players in the team which is destroying the unity. However, he didnt elaborate on the players involved. Ijaz took over as chairman from Nasim Ashraf in October 2008.