The head of the National Assembly (NA) Committee on Sports Iqbal Muhammad Ali has revealed internal strife in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) with several Governing Board (GB) members not in favour of the chairman Ijaz Butt.
While the GB, according to PCB Chief Operating Officer Wasim Bari, was completely supportive of the chairman despite continuous criticism and the wave of u-turns the PCB has taken with him at the helm, Ali confirmed things were different behind the chairman’s back.
“The act by the GB is a prime example of double standards,” Ali told The Express Tribune. “Some GB members, including the ones very close to the chairman, and those who pledged their support to him, all have been speaking against him to me. Since the chairman has been dominating the cricket board, they are afraid of speaking out against him in public.”
Ali added that the committee was not satisfied with the functioning of the cricket board and had informed the president of Pakistan of their opinion. The committee summoned the PCB’s top brass last week as well as former coach Intikhab Alam and former captain Younus Khan to probe Pakistan’s dismal performance on the tour of Australia and its aftermath when then PCB imposed bans and fines on seven players.
“We are still not satisfied with the functioning of the PCB. They only penalised the players but retained all the officials.
“Aaqib Javed and Yawar Saeed are equally responsible for what happened to the team and they are back in the team management as coach and manager.”
Ali further lashed out the cricket board’s selection criteria for the Asia Cup and the tour of England.
“Players, averaging 20 to 25, are still in the team and those who are more deserving and have better averages are sitting out. Surprisingly all-rounder Hammad [Azam] who was with the World Twenty20 squad is not in the squad that was announced and neither is Sarfraz Ahmed.
He was supposed to be Kamran Akmal’s backup and had been with the squad for a long time but has been omitted altogether now.”
“And don’t the PCB have any other managers than Yawar Saeed who had earlier decided to resign from the post himself last year but then came back to re-join the team. I don’t understand what they want from Yawar,” maintained Ali.
The NA committee chairman further questioned the PCB’s constitution through which the whole system tends to revolve around the chairman with the individual dominating all departments, including team selection and the appointment of captain.
“According to our recommendation to the president, the chairman should be elected and the PCB must work under the sports ministry instead of working independently.
“And every department in the board should be autonomous and limiting the chairman’s powers when it comes to naming selection committee, appointing a manager, coaches and captain.”
The PCB chairman was due to meet the committee at the end of this month but the meeting has been postpoened as Butt is due to participate in an ICC meeting.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 29th, 2010.
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