KARACHI: The indiscipline and dressing-room disunity that was curbed during his tenure is likely to make a comeback in the Pakistan team, according to former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt.
Butt served as the board’s chief from 2008 to 2011 and claimed to have abolished player-power during his tenure. In his tenure, the PCB handed out several bans and fines relating to discipline and underperforming issues, including the action against seven cricketers including Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik after the winless tour of Australia in 2010-11.
Butt, while referring to Kamran’s return to the national squad for the 2012 World Twenty20, said that the players against whom the board took action in the past are being recalled and that might promote player-power again.
“I’ve heard that discipline issues are creeping up in the team again,” Butt told The Express Tribune. “I took strict action against the players involved but now they’re being recalled that may create a similar situation again. For instance, the decision to recall Kamran, who was sidelined during my tenure because of indiscipline, is a strange one. When he was dropped after poor performance in a Test against Australia, Umar feigned injury to protest against his brother’s omission. We took strict action against both and such decisions helped us curb player-power.
“Even if we persisted with them because of their ability, we kept a strict eye on them. Now, with the same people in the squad, it may give birth to groupings once again. I can’t advise the current board and it is up to them to control things in the best possible manner. All I can do is to wish the board and the chairman luck and hope that they handle it the right way.”
‘Snubbing Junaid a criminal act’
Meanwhile, the former PCB chief questioned the selection for next month’s World Twenty20, criticising the move to omit left-arm fast bowler Junaid Khan.
“It was a criminal act to snub the youngster,” said Butt. “Junaid was sensational during the recent tour of Sri Lanka where our other pacers failed. He showed good signs for the future but the snub will surely dent his confidence. The chief selector (Iqbal Qasim) is a responsible person and I don’t know what kind of pressure he was under that forced him to take such an unjustified decision and ignore the talent.”
Qasim, meanwhile, had clarified the decision to ignore the left-armer, saying that he preferred Umar Gul and Mohammad Sami following a request by the team management and Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2012.
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