New age October 21, 2008

Debate for the future 3: Button it Mr Butt

The chairmanship of the Pakistan Cricket Board holds a mesmeric attraction for glory seekers
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The chairmanship of the Pakistan Cricket Board holds a mesmeric attraction for glory seekers. Each time a new head is appointed, the great unwashed hope that a man with wisdom, ideas, integrity, and discretion is chosen. Invariably, we are disappointed.

A particularly worrying prognostic factor has been the desire of a new chairman to share each half-baked opinion with the peoples of the world.

PCB chairmen seem to forget that in our web 2.0 society, every utterance is broadcast around the planet in milliseconds. Perhaps I misjudge these men of verbal diarrhoea? They are probably doing it deliberately to extract every morsel of attention that they can from us dumbstruck souls.

Mr Butt's start has been especially troublesome. Despite some early hopes that he might have the nous to fix a fractured organisation, his instant explosion of revelations and judgements suggests that wisdom, integrity, and discretion are not his idea of how to rebuild Pakistan cricket.

The most disturbing announcement is the decision not to renew Geoff Lawson's contract. Without doubt, Lawson has taken on the coaching role at a time when the PCB is in greatest disarray and the team's captaincy and spirit is most feeble. To judge Lawson in these circumstances is nonsensical. To publicly denounce Lawson many months before his contract is ended is illogical, insensitive, and ill-advised.

Mr Butt may be right in certain of his actions, such as investigating the financial irregularities of the previous regime, but it would be best for Pakistan cricket if he could bring himself to button it.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • pakfan on October 26, 2008, 17:12 GMT

    this is bad. Apparently lawson only got to know he is sacked through tv. Butt had nothing to say when lawson called him. More so no impression of his service not required was given when lawson met buttttt on friday. On what basis was he sacked? Common the basic issue with pak team is beyond any local or foreign coach. I dont think the fielding will improve in our lifetime or maybe the "tu chal, main aya" batting will see any significant improvement in our life time. After all pakistan always wins by individual brilliance on that day. So only reason he was sacked as soon butt took over is i recogn is for the same "bhai banday chamchay" reason. Okay fine lawson may not have been the best choice but the new pcb mgmt coun have given him a chance to show his worth. Now we have a coach who is mid 60s and old school. Again pakistan only wins by individual brilliance so why bother to have a coach. Over all very bad n unprofessional.

  • Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia on October 26, 2008, 5:58 GMT

    It looks like one nincompoop has been replaced by another nincompoop. All efforts are being made to tarnish the (already destroyed) image of Pakistan in general and PCB in particular.

    What is the logic of calling Lawson “useless” in his very first press conference? Butt never met Lawson yet labeled him with every possible allegation of inept workmanship. Considering the fact that he had only 5 months to complete his tenure, it was certainly wise to let him complete his tenure and make a history in PCB as the first ever coach to complete his contract period. All previous coaches regardless of the fact if they were foreigners or Pakistanis got sacking from PCB without completing their tenure.

    With this sort of history who will ever come to Pakistan in future to coach any teams or even for any business ventures. Over the years Pakistan has earned the reputation that they CAN NOT be trusted for anything.

    Welcome to Pakistan !!!

  • Muslimun on October 25, 2008, 20:30 GMT

    I am surprised at the arrogant behaviour of Ejaz Butt who at this age still doesn't know manners and how to speak decently. The main problem with the cricketers is not Lawson or anyother coach but their own attitudes. Having been played so much still they dont know how to field, bowl or bat. Thats ridiculous and on top of that desplaying their on field temper despite losing the game shamelessly to other team players is just disgusting. They have to dismiss their own childish behaviours rather than dismissing Jeoff Lawson who is absolutely NOT TO BE BLAMED.If they don't show respect and manners they will keep on losing always and they deserve it too.All these events regarding cricket in Pak are simply disgraceful.Can we hope for a deserving and capable and on-merit chairman for this post someday or it will also go like the politics in Pak? Pakistani players need to mend their own ways and play like international players with responsibility.Its very UNFAIR to dismiss Lawson.

  • Analyze This on October 25, 2008, 17:00 GMT

    The venues may be different but the pattern is the same. ISLAMABAD: one incompetent president replaced by another; one rubber stamp parliament replaced by another. LAHORE: one incompetent PCB chief replaced by another.

    Pakistanis deserve better.

  • Umair from San Francisco on October 25, 2008, 14:30 GMT

    PCB as an organization has been an utter failure. I am not really suprised that another inept chief has been appointed. Looks like Mr. Butt is suffering information diarrhea, thus, likes to share every closed door conversation. In the last 10 years, Pakistan has had 15 coaching changes (9 different coaches)...is this some sort of a sick joke!!! Very unfair to judge Mr. Lawson based on a handfull of matches especially at a time when pakistan cricket has been very limited and PCB is in complete disarray. Well, the clock is ticking on Mr. Alam (new coach) as this fire date has already been pre-determined. PCB should be run by someone with "real" proven managerial experience not necessarily an ex-cricketer....well no use in beating a dead horse.

  • EAMiran on October 25, 2008, 13:31 GMT

    What an inspired move - Intikhab Alam as coach. Well done PCB. A septegenarian as coach (well almost!). Why don't we get W.G.Grace as specialist fielding coach. If only he can get past rigor mortis. I agree with Vino Vincent - "competition matters". That is why Pak/India games are more competitive today than they were during the 80's and 90's, when only one side was winning regularly. And all of us know which side that was - right Vino?

  • Samir on October 25, 2008, 6:33 GMT

    Read the news today. .... Where do you guys get these idiots from??.... there are so many suave, intelligent pakistanis that we hear... must you go for these publicity hungry chappies for Chairmanship. We thought there was light at the end of the tunnel when Dr. Ashraf was removed... Its just turned out to be an approaching train... The more things change, the more they remain the same. You guys should have a media gag on the PCB for the next five years.

  • Harsh truth on October 25, 2008, 3:34 GMT

    I think Lawson was treated harshly.The manner of dismissal was inappropriate.That the PCB hired an inexperienced coach was not Geoff's fault. Pak cricket has been affected by so many non-cricketing issues that it's difficult to judge the coach's performance.Moreover, what was the hurry when the PCB hasn't even figured out whom to appoint? More drama, hopefully will not lead to more chaos in the dwindling Pak cricket. Coach may have been a small factor in a chaotic cricketing scene. I think the most urgent issue to address today is how to revive quality international cricket on Pak soil.

  • Vino Vincent on October 24, 2008, 6:16 GMT

    I dont think even whatmore can do anything when he cannot expect support from team and board. 'coz in a corporate every one has to be supported by everyother to be successful. Add also learning...

  • Vino Vincent on October 24, 2008, 6:12 GMT

    Yes! I dont say INDIA is best team. Yet we were of same level and compete and a thrill prevailed in it on who is oing to win? DO you still think that thrill/ excitation is there in INDIA PAKISTAN match of today? Competition matters EAMiran

  • pakfan on October 26, 2008, 17:12 GMT

    this is bad. Apparently lawson only got to know he is sacked through tv. Butt had nothing to say when lawson called him. More so no impression of his service not required was given when lawson met buttttt on friday. On what basis was he sacked? Common the basic issue with pak team is beyond any local or foreign coach. I dont think the fielding will improve in our lifetime or maybe the "tu chal, main aya" batting will see any significant improvement in our life time. After all pakistan always wins by individual brilliance on that day. So only reason he was sacked as soon butt took over is i recogn is for the same "bhai banday chamchay" reason. Okay fine lawson may not have been the best choice but the new pcb mgmt coun have given him a chance to show his worth. Now we have a coach who is mid 60s and old school. Again pakistan only wins by individual brilliance so why bother to have a coach. Over all very bad n unprofessional.

  • Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia on October 26, 2008, 5:58 GMT

    It looks like one nincompoop has been replaced by another nincompoop. All efforts are being made to tarnish the (already destroyed) image of Pakistan in general and PCB in particular.

    What is the logic of calling Lawson “useless” in his very first press conference? Butt never met Lawson yet labeled him with every possible allegation of inept workmanship. Considering the fact that he had only 5 months to complete his tenure, it was certainly wise to let him complete his tenure and make a history in PCB as the first ever coach to complete his contract period. All previous coaches regardless of the fact if they were foreigners or Pakistanis got sacking from PCB without completing their tenure.

    With this sort of history who will ever come to Pakistan in future to coach any teams or even for any business ventures. Over the years Pakistan has earned the reputation that they CAN NOT be trusted for anything.

    Welcome to Pakistan !!!

  • Muslimun on October 25, 2008, 20:30 GMT

    I am surprised at the arrogant behaviour of Ejaz Butt who at this age still doesn't know manners and how to speak decently. The main problem with the cricketers is not Lawson or anyother coach but their own attitudes. Having been played so much still they dont know how to field, bowl or bat. Thats ridiculous and on top of that desplaying their on field temper despite losing the game shamelessly to other team players is just disgusting. They have to dismiss their own childish behaviours rather than dismissing Jeoff Lawson who is absolutely NOT TO BE BLAMED.If they don't show respect and manners they will keep on losing always and they deserve it too.All these events regarding cricket in Pak are simply disgraceful.Can we hope for a deserving and capable and on-merit chairman for this post someday or it will also go like the politics in Pak? Pakistani players need to mend their own ways and play like international players with responsibility.Its very UNFAIR to dismiss Lawson.

  • Analyze This on October 25, 2008, 17:00 GMT

    The venues may be different but the pattern is the same. ISLAMABAD: one incompetent president replaced by another; one rubber stamp parliament replaced by another. LAHORE: one incompetent PCB chief replaced by another.

    Pakistanis deserve better.

  • Umair from San Francisco on October 25, 2008, 14:30 GMT

    PCB as an organization has been an utter failure. I am not really suprised that another inept chief has been appointed. Looks like Mr. Butt is suffering information diarrhea, thus, likes to share every closed door conversation. In the last 10 years, Pakistan has had 15 coaching changes (9 different coaches)...is this some sort of a sick joke!!! Very unfair to judge Mr. Lawson based on a handfull of matches especially at a time when pakistan cricket has been very limited and PCB is in complete disarray. Well, the clock is ticking on Mr. Alam (new coach) as this fire date has already been pre-determined. PCB should be run by someone with "real" proven managerial experience not necessarily an ex-cricketer....well no use in beating a dead horse.

  • EAMiran on October 25, 2008, 13:31 GMT

    What an inspired move - Intikhab Alam as coach. Well done PCB. A septegenarian as coach (well almost!). Why don't we get W.G.Grace as specialist fielding coach. If only he can get past rigor mortis. I agree with Vino Vincent - "competition matters". That is why Pak/India games are more competitive today than they were during the 80's and 90's, when only one side was winning regularly. And all of us know which side that was - right Vino?

  • Samir on October 25, 2008, 6:33 GMT

    Read the news today. .... Where do you guys get these idiots from??.... there are so many suave, intelligent pakistanis that we hear... must you go for these publicity hungry chappies for Chairmanship. We thought there was light at the end of the tunnel when Dr. Ashraf was removed... Its just turned out to be an approaching train... The more things change, the more they remain the same. You guys should have a media gag on the PCB for the next five years.

  • Harsh truth on October 25, 2008, 3:34 GMT

    I think Lawson was treated harshly.The manner of dismissal was inappropriate.That the PCB hired an inexperienced coach was not Geoff's fault. Pak cricket has been affected by so many non-cricketing issues that it's difficult to judge the coach's performance.Moreover, what was the hurry when the PCB hasn't even figured out whom to appoint? More drama, hopefully will not lead to more chaos in the dwindling Pak cricket. Coach may have been a small factor in a chaotic cricketing scene. I think the most urgent issue to address today is how to revive quality international cricket on Pak soil.

  • Vino Vincent on October 24, 2008, 6:16 GMT

    I dont think even whatmore can do anything when he cannot expect support from team and board. 'coz in a corporate every one has to be supported by everyother to be successful. Add also learning...

  • Vino Vincent on October 24, 2008, 6:12 GMT

    Yes! I dont say INDIA is best team. Yet we were of same level and compete and a thrill prevailed in it on who is oing to win? DO you still think that thrill/ excitation is there in INDIA PAKISTAN match of today? Competition matters EAMiran

  • Nadeem Mohammed on October 23, 2008, 13:19 GMT

    This is as bad as an Eastender's episode, but worse! At the end of our PCB episode, instead of the usual Eastender's famous "Dum, Dum, Da Dum Dum DaDa Dum"!, PCB's version will be "Butt Butt Bu Butt Butt Butt Butt-a-Butt"!

    (This theme music for the PCB has a copyright on it and cannot be used by the PCB even if they're considering of broadcasting their episodes).

  • Bilal on October 23, 2008, 9:27 GMT

    Its very disappointing to hear such a comment from the PCB chairman, it is totally unprofessional and entirely stupid. Im not a huge fan of Lawson and even if i want him to leave i have would not openly address the public considering the months left in his contract. Tell me now Mr. Butt why would lawson want to even TRY to perform. Also the recent spat with shafqat naghmi wasnt professional.And Iam guessing he was the one tht changed the pakistan team touring canada so he can get rid of "Sallu". the problem is just when a new chairman comes he wants to completerly change all the staff around him.

    Also I would like to comment tht when was the last time when Mr. Kamran said something positive about pakistan cricket. Yes there isnt much positive about PAK cricket but dont criticize everything.

    Mr. Butt's actions so far havent been great but lets hope tht he becomes a succesful chairman.

  • Mohammed Munir on October 23, 2008, 7:28 GMT

    It’s unfortunate and really disheartening what the PCB is going through :-(

    I agree Butt is a Butt, but part of the problem trails back to the earlier management when Geoff Lawson was wrongly selected by Dr. Nasim Ashraf and his gang.

    Lawson may be a nice human being and all that, but he never was a good coach, as he never had any international coaching experience prior to joining PCB job.

    Moreover, he was selected over Whatmore, who I guess is still one of the best coaches and most suitable specially for our Asian teams, becaue he worked best with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, so he knew Asian 'politics' and culture as well as the mind-set of Asian players very well.

    Further, Whatmore was just dieing to join PCB back then, before he went for India’s junior team.

  • Raza-e-Mustafa, Gujranwala on October 23, 2008, 7:18 GMT

    Blaming the coach for team's failures has been a long tradition in Pakistan. No coach in the world can turn no brainers like Afridis and Akhtars into Gayle's and Lees. If the players do not listen to a coach's advice, who is to blame then? I think Lawson and Woolmer have been doing all they could do. It is the players who need to pulled for not listening to their coach as they are the men who have to perform on a cricket field. At least Lawson does not do the antics Javed Miandad used to do from the dressing room. The latter has been on the offensive ever since he was removed as a coach of Pakistan.

    P.S. If the disciplinary action can be taken against the players giving controversial statements, why a show-cause notice should not be served on the chairman of the board? But some people are not accountable to anyone in Pakistan. Orwell's famous quote fits well for Pakistan, "all animals are equal, but some are more equal."

  • Warnesie on October 23, 2008, 6:28 GMT

    Sad. So many of us here in Australia want our team to tour Pakistan. There are a lot of us who hope Pakistan can rise up to where they once were. Imagine a cricketing world where Australia, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, England and Pakistan are level pegging?

    The cricket would be fantastic and there'd be plenty of "bums on seats" at the games.

    Top level coaches, techniques and support staff help improve and develop a team.

    Alas, Pakistan seems to be happy wallowing near the bottom of the pecking order. International coaches do a great job - look at the turnaround in India's fortunes with Garry Kirsten for one example. Sure, Australia are a little more vulnerable now, but I prefer to say that they have come back to the field a little bit while India and South Africa especially have improved.

    I'd love Pakistan to be there too. Mr. Butt and associates, please put the ganme first.

    The game is bigger and better than all of us and our egos.

  • Fayyazf on October 23, 2008, 5:24 GMT

    Yes,the PCB chairman shouldn't have done that but I think the criticism must stop and come back with with some good solutions which you think should be done to improve cricket in Pakistan(Mr Kamran)

  • DadhiBaba on October 23, 2008, 5:04 GMT

    Bottom line is money. lawson will make US$ 360,000( for pakis, who can't calc $30 k a month). This kind of money in this economy will buy a palace for lawson, get all his kids married and have a vacation for 5 years in carribean.

  • DadhiBaba on October 23, 2008, 4:55 GMT

    Kamran, You are absolutely right about this guy, that's why his parent's named him Ijazz "Is Ass Butt". It takes two butts to tango?? "Khoon, khoon ko pehchanta hai".

  • EAMiran on October 23, 2008, 3:15 GMT

    So the PCB will continue to be run by slimy Beavises and obnoxious Butt-heads. Should we really be surprised? Look at our great politicians and realize that the latest PCB chairman has been selected by these very same group of distinguished gentlemen. The Pakistan team has been a force inspite of the PCB management. Our cricket has thrived on high levels of talent. Unfortunately the talent has dried up and we now have a bunch of mediocre bits-and-pieces players who are only in the team because the specialists have either been marginalized or are not much better. While these players may have been hidden in the past playing alongside real talent, they have now been exposed as the burden they really are. Reality check for Vino Vincent: Don`t fret, Pakistan is still competitive enough to beat India, although admitedlly not as regularly as it used to during the 80`s and 90`s. Contrary to what a billion plus people may think at this time - India is not that good yet!

  • ahmed on October 23, 2008, 1:33 GMT

    This is the biggest tragedy of Pakistan Cricket. They always led by incompetent people. Except for Imran Khan and few others they never had good people to lead the team and the board. I refused to accept when people said that Pakistan Team will become like West Indies or Zimbabwe. But I think they will be next West Indies sooner rather than later.

  • Mohammed on October 23, 2008, 1:04 GMT

    Butt is obviously the wrong choice. He even spilled the beans on the ICC's private views on potential litigation by ICL which could not have gone well with the ICC and BCCI. Salman Taseer had suggested to the President that Ehsan Mani be made chairman of PCB. Ehsan would have been a much better choice given given the need for Pakistan to gain respect in the cricketing world. Mr Butt has started his tenure by making a bad situation (ie Pakistan's position in world cricket) worse.

  • Gaurav on October 22, 2008, 23:21 GMT

    Actually not a bad call. High time pakistan got some of their former greats like wasim, waqar, moin khan to coach/assist the team. They can guide the youngsters better than any rank outsider. For the first time news coming out of pakistan cricket sounded sensible.

  • Hussain Khan on October 22, 2008, 22:56 GMT

    Another unprofessional at the helm of the PCB. Can't you find one good adminstrator who knows how to ran a large organisation? An ex-player does not necessararly make a adminstrator.

  • Wasim on October 22, 2008, 22:20 GMT

    Is this the first time a sports coach has been publicly criticized by his employer? Go look inside NFL history,NBA history,and MLB history you will find countless examples. Only recently Greg Chappell faced the wrath of a nation and faced public criticism from his employers which forced him to resign only after 22 months of employment,why every single word uttered by a PCB administrator is so microscopically analyzed, honest criticism is a good thing but too much negativity only creates confusion and produces negative results. International media and people like Mr Abbassi are leaving no opportunity to pick on trivial issues about PCB and Pak team and keep on weaving one soap story after another.Every trivial issue is being twisted and turned into a huge media circus. Give the guys a break and you please,zip it up for a while.

  • Faisal on October 22, 2008, 22:03 GMT

    Just when you think that things are about to change in PCB, the chairman himself makes a statement about Lawson's future so cheaply. I don't think anyone who has respect for themselves would want to coach the Pakistani team as long as such people continue to remain in power in PCB.

    After making such statement, the PCB chairman should also not expect players like Shoaib Akthar to open up his mind.

    Mushtaq Ahmed was right to stay away from all this mess. May god earn him even more respect.

  • M.Limbada on October 22, 2008, 21:59 GMT

    I think Mr.Butt is somehow related to Javid Miandad! Time will surely tell.

  • Venkat on October 22, 2008, 20:21 GMT

    I can fully understand the anxiety of Mr.Butt who wants to asserts his position as quickly as possible with these gimmicks. Someone must kick hi "Butt" and tell him that he is affecting the sentiment of the entire nation...which is already hugely affect with the cancellation of key tournaments and series...Mr.Butt please get back to WORK!!!! and do what is expected of you.

  • Badar on October 22, 2008, 19:45 GMT

    Just a word of advice for Mr.Butt; Praise in public and critisize in private. When you try to spit on the sun, it falls back on your own face and when you point one finger towards someone, three fingers point back at you. We'll keep on getting morons like Mr.Butt as long as they're being selected instead of being elected through proper channel. How could you judge someone's ability without giving him proper and fair chance. We're not playing much competitive cricket of late so it's not fair to publicly humiliate your national coach. Here we have an Aussie in Lawson who's giving all he can in his capacity in tough times when other foreigners are reluctant to even set their foot inside Pakistan. If Mr.Butt is competent enough himself then let him arrange some high level series for Pakistan when there's a drought of cricket. Furthermore, a coach can't perform on the field and so long as we have the sissy ass captain like Malik, we'll keep on getting thrashed. We need a captain like Dhoni.

  • Faisal on October 22, 2008, 18:33 GMT

    What an IDIOT this new chief is!!!! But then again he is a BUTT and you know what BUTTs are famous for. Being LOUDMOUTHS!!!!

  • Syed Jamal on October 22, 2008, 18:05 GMT

    What I do not get is the lack of willingness to do away with the appointment of PCB Chairman. Why can't they elect a chairman, get a PCB constitution approved, which would establish a code of conduct, and then try to strenghten domestic cricket in Pakistan by nurturing both players and coaches at the local level. A proper, competitive structure picking players nursed from early school-age will serve as a reserve for skilled, emotionally mature players capable of national service. SO, please start with elctions in all local boards in the four provinces, FATA, Kashmir, and then the elected representtatives of these local boards put their houses in order and elect a PCB CHairperson who abides by the rulles set forth in a ratified constitution.

  • Aamir Akhund on October 22, 2008, 17:58 GMT

    Just as we were beginingto think that PCB and its behavior could not go any lower Mr Butt proved us wrong

  • Wasim on October 22, 2008, 17:55 GMT

    Oh! come on, Butt stated the obvious "Lawson is use less" after hearing this I don't think Lawson will do any more worse of a job than what he has already been doing. You should be thankful of Butt who gave you another opportunity to bash PCB and its administration, I guess you got a bit of jealous because you think criticizing all the coaches, captains and administrators of PCB is exclusively your right. Stop spreading this negativity and write something positive maybe you will get some more hits on your blog.

  • Hemant Gandhi on October 22, 2008, 17:51 GMT

    Well said Kamran,

    Although being an Indian fan I will always love to Pakistan losing to india, I had my share of admiration for Zaheer Abbas, Imran, Wasim, Yunis and many other excellent players. The way cricket is being run in Pakistan these days, it looks difficult to have the players of world class talent emerging. It would not be a loss only for Pakistan, but die hard cricket fans from all over the world will suffer too.

    Hope situation improves in Pakistan and the cricket is managed well by the right people.

  • amer on October 22, 2008, 17:49 GMT

    We have an idiot as a President, PM, idiots make up the parliament, the judiciary and the bulk of beuracracy so why should the chairmanship of the PCB be spared? Pity, the average Pakistani citizen and cricket fan!

  • Faisal Sami Qadir on October 22, 2008, 17:11 GMT

    Damn right, Mr. Butt should review his senses, as he doesnt seem to have control over it.... no use criticising lawson, who is doing a fair job.... Perhaps, we are missing sumone like Imran khan or Ehsan mani

  • YR on October 22, 2008, 17:00 GMT

    I agree with Kamran, Ijaz Butt has made some insensitive and ill-advised remarks about Geoff Lawson. My advice to Geoff Lawson, please do not resign, enjoy the rest of your tenure with PCB, obviously there is no motivation (I don't blame you) sit back, relax and earn your money until your contract expires. This is a once in a lifetime paid holiday so take it with both hands. As for Pakistan cricket, it has reached a new low, thanks to the new chairman and his comments. He has chosen to make his mark but unfortunately not in a very gentlemanly way. History repeats itself!

  • Junaid on October 22, 2008, 16:56 GMT

    PCB chairman has all the right to make comments about an employee if he is not performing well and being paid too highly. I know Kamran needs something to write but he should for the right material. What is all the fuss abt PCB chairman making comments abt a coach.

  • Hassan Abbas on October 22, 2008, 16:53 GMT

    I first thought that it was going to be an article about discussing Salman Butt as our future one-down batsman! (Not entirely a bad idea once Younis Khan retires). Anyway, I totally agree with your views. Mr. Ijaz Butt needs to remain "behind the limelight" like the chairmen of the Australian and the South African boards (no one hears from them as frequently as the chairmen of India and Pakistan!) and build a structure and team that does the talking. Sorry to say this but I don't think Mr. Ijaz Butt cuts it. Someone like Majid Khan with experience of management or someone like even Ramiz Raja might have been a better choice. It seems that this appointment is political and so reiterating the great Khan (Imran, of course!), separate politics from cricket and "elect" officials instead of "selecting" them. And a note for the ones doing the selection, try using "merit" as the selection criteria instead of "having grey hair" for a change! (that failed with Sheharyar Khan and Nasim Ashraf)

  • Omer Adhia on October 22, 2008, 16:49 GMT

    Pre condition for being PCB Chairman: Have to be an utter idiot with minimal leadership skills plus some connections high up.

    I don't understand why we (Pakistanis) blame our coach for all our cricketing miseries. A coach helps in formulating a strategy against oppositions ( if you ask me a coach cannot influence results as we think he can, just looking at the 92 world cup). Its the captain's responsibility to implement that on the field and we can clearly see that Shoaib Malik has not clue how to lead the team and control his players. A foreign coach is always an easy target, but the fact remains that we need a new captain and need to improve cricket at the grass root level. Ijaz Butt ( what are his credentials again??!!?) has clearly shown a lack of common sense in openly criticizing Lawson. Lets brace our selves for another soap opera. PCB == free entertainment !!

  • Amin on October 22, 2008, 16:46 GMT

    hi pak spin. i ask these people who argue about MR butts leadership that why do they cant come forward and run the PCB?, if whoever they thing is good for them .. i think . MR Butt possess quality leadership and he has shown in past. i respect him!!. so all im asking is . i ask u guys who argue to come forward and why dont u guys do something instead of just posting rude commments about ur own pakistani?

  • Rauf on October 22, 2008, 15:43 GMT

    Agreed. PCB officials should get lessons in diplomacy. I wasn't in favor of hiring Lawson in the first place or any foriegn coach for that matter. They cost way too much with salary/traveling/lodging etc and ROI is not close compared to the cost. I understand the reason why PCB wants to get rid of Lawson fast because he is costing US$30,000 per month. That is not small sum for a board without any cash.

    Either fire him ASAP or keep your mouth shut until the contract is up for renewal.

  • Fan_ on October 22, 2008, 15:23 GMT

    Simple solution: PRIVATIZE PCB!!!!! All these cronies have no clue what professionalism is. The operating word here is professionalism, not cricket experience (Mr. Butt) or the lack thereof (Mr. Ashraf).

  • DesiHungama on October 22, 2008, 15:09 GMT

    cric-fanatic- Asif Iqbal, Zaheer Abbas and Imran Khan are not PPP men. I wonder Lawson still has a year left on the contract. What if the team goes out on its limb and performs highly in the next few tournaments. What to think of Lawson then? Perhaps Zardari should run PCB and call it Benazir Cricket Board. This is funny we tell the world not to mix sporting events with politics and yet we do exact the opposite than what we preach. We are witnessing true colors on politics and notihng more. It is time Sub Kuch Allah PE Chor Do.

  • DesiHungama on October 22, 2008, 14:54 GMT

    This only goes to show this man Butt is a political appointee and does not have the temperament to be a boss/chairman of any organization. Sure he has some cricketing experience from from the Roman times. His primary job is to revamp the cricket unstead he is indulged in cutthroat political. Just because Lawson is a Naseem Ashraf appointee does not mean to show disrespect to the man. He is afterall the coach of the Pakistan Team not Naseem/Musharaf Team. You dont like the job he is doing. You call him in the office and you tell him onto his face. Then you cut him and cut your losses. To give this man Lawson a morally, socially depleted team with no international arrangement. To top that, create a dull suicidal environment in the country and then you judge this man Lawson and say he hasnt done anything. Who in Pakistan has done anything lately? Our captain is gutless, our trump card Afridi has nothing to show for but cuss words on the field and Allah Allah on our Tv shows. Younis-coward

  • CRICKETEXPERT on October 22, 2008, 14:36 GMT

    What a mean and ill mannered PCB cheif, Ijaz Butt turned out to be. At least the previous chairman Nasim Ashraf didn't start giving useless and unprofessional statements in public

  • Fehzan Vayani on October 22, 2008, 13:41 GMT

    Absolutely spot on Kamran ! What Kamran has failed to realise is that he should not blame Lawson completely - because the time when he was brought in was when the Pakistan team was in complete disarray. Lawson has led the team to gel pretty well. The chairman should not be blaming the coach,Imran pointed out something about PCB not appreciating coaches,and that is absolutely right. There is definitely a fault in the PCB organization itself. It's not justice to put all the blame on the coach - PUBLICLY AT THAT ! When will the disorder of Pakistan cricket come to an end ? Good job Kamran by pointing this out ! :)

  • PakistanLover on October 22, 2008, 13:30 GMT

    Mr.Butt is trying to do the best he can. In light of the attack on Pakistan cricket by Indians, White nations and others, it is in the best interest of Pakistan to close ranks and stop the foreigners or ever insulting or making light of Pakistan and its supports and the PCB. Refuse to play any country with actively destorys, demeans and like India, obliterates any Pakistani offical or cricketer.

  • Godfrey D'Souza, Toronto on October 22, 2008, 13:00 GMT

    Put this Butt chap in charge of the Pak wrestling team

  • Vino Vincent on October 22, 2008, 12:42 GMT

    Steps needed to improve pak cricket(Sorry if opinion changes): 1. Appoint an Industrialist(Successful) who is also educated and open minded 2. Rearrange the selection committee with a mix of ex players and professionals 3. Educate the players with attitude and english language(for their learning to develop cricket and to communicate with other international players when on tour) 4. Any player who creates problems within team should be suspended irrespective of the stature of the player. 5. Players should not be allowed to write or give interview to media without the written consent of the board. 6. Players are bound to obey the coach and attend all the training and do whatever is told by the coach on time. NO RELAXATION IN THIS 7. Late night parties should not be allowed for any player where a game is on.

    I know its easily said than done... but hope it will

  • Vino Vincent on October 22, 2008, 12:29 GMT

    I loved watching the INDIA-PAKISTAN matches of old where there was competition and the thrill. Now im eagerly awaiting for that time to return. doesnt matter who wins but the thrill...?

  • Nadeem Mohammed on October 22, 2008, 11:54 GMT

    Fire the interviwers who interview these bafoons!

  • sam on October 22, 2008, 11:47 GMT

    Mr. Butt is buttocking

  • Tahir Khan on October 22, 2008, 11:43 GMT

    New chairman should remember he is the chairman of National board not of local council, to criticise Lawson like that is unacceptable he has not finished his job and to be fair on Lawson he has not the chance to Coach Pakistan team in lots of matches, Pakistan has hardly played any cricket in the last 12 months, you can not judge him on the results of few matches, now people like Moshin is making stataments like only a person who is passoinate about Pakistan cricket should coach Pakistan what a ridiculous statemen, does he not know it is an age of professionalism does not matter he is passoinate about Pakistan or not he should b good, how many soccer countries have foreign coaches, look at England who is their batting coach, who used to be their bowling coach, they were not English, tell me honestly how many people know the name of Pakistan fielding coach, was he famous for his fielding during his time, I think Pakistan can have fast bowling coach from Pakistan but not the head coach

  • Jamie Dowling on October 22, 2008, 11:43 GMT

    Are the PCB and the WICB in some kind of competition to be the biggest laughing stock in world cricket? Look at the legacy Geoff Lawson left Australian cricket - a very strong NSW side, Mark Taylor & Steve Waugh as Australian captains. What has Mr Butt achieved? Apart from being the potential for a lot of backside jokes. Stumbling from one mess to another, Pakistan's test team will never be as good as it should be with such ludicrous "leadership" going on behind the scenes.

  • Atul Bhogle on October 22, 2008, 11:37 GMT

    To comment on this post, I wonder if any foreign coach would be foolish enough to come to Pakistan now. I cannot fathom what Watson was seeking to achieve in the first place.

    Despite all these administrative goof ups, the sad fact is that Pakistan seem to have stopped producing the outrageously talented cricketers it used to. Pak players were never one to be coached and trained. They just played well on their own.

    Even if Cricket has changed over the past decade, this characteristic is difficult to change. You should look for originality more than anything else.

  • Atul Bhogle on October 22, 2008, 11:33 GMT

    It is time this column is renamed to 'Pak whine'. Please come up with some positive things to say, though, I must admit, it is hard to do so when you are writing about Pakistan Cricket's current state of affairs.

  • Hussan Ammed on October 22, 2008, 11:21 GMT

    It seems as if the new chairman wants to get rid of the mess in very little time. He should realize that things take time

  • william paul on October 22, 2008, 11:10 GMT

    Well i guess it is THE birthright of the PCB chairman [one at a time PLEASE] For one i would still love to see pakistan cricket do exceedingly WELL. I am very much an indian and yet would wish so. GOD BLESS.

  • Mahadevan on October 22, 2008, 10:44 GMT

    The way Mr: Butt commented on Lawson does not augur well for Pakistan. How can you judge a coach who is to work with a team playing zero test in a year. Note that Pakistan has played scant competitive cricket this year. What is Mr: Butt going to do to reverse this situation? What is the scope of the coach in this case? Lawson himself could be disgusted the way he is judged. God save Pak cricket.

  • mohsin on October 22, 2008, 10:16 GMT

    Maybe you guys in ur false ego and patriotism fail to grasp the fact that Imran Khan is simply not interested in being associated with PCB . His interest is in politics and perhaps in fact that he remain the only Pakistani captain to have his name on world cup.

  • mohsin on October 22, 2008, 10:11 GMT

    India just completed a superb victory over Australia who played fantastic cricket in first test match. NZ played a superb game with equally good show from Bangladesh. What did Pakistan do??? Butt bowled a yorker to Lawson . Wow PCB and cornered tigers are on the way up;)

  • rehan on October 22, 2008, 10:01 GMT

    hence our heart break :-( The worst part is that all the "esteemed" ex-cricketers realise this, but still cant seem to waste a moment in showering praise after praise on the new top-boss. Greed- jockeying for important positions in the new setup. The way Salahuddin "Sallu" had to leave was indeed a shame. He was the only credible person of the prev setup, and was single handedly responsible for the rebirth of Misbah and introduction of Sohail Tanveer. Its still a mystery as to who changed his selected team to canada.

    Forget worrying about a foreign coach, we need a foreign chairman. For that matter even a street vendor would have had the sense of hiring Dav Whatmore over Lawson.....

  • Mazhar Dar on October 22, 2008, 8:53 GMT

    We agree with your point on Geoff Lawson's issue, as new PCB chairmen saying in his 1st press conformance that our Team coach "useless" plus he saying Lawson work with Pakistan team until April 2008. What is all this republish???????????????? Fist all u cannot say some once he is useless when u are head of Pakistan cricket board (sadly) later u talk with BBC saying "I didn't say he was useless but I don't think he is much use to us" we need a full-time salaried head of the PCB who is selected solely on merit and not because of his connections. It's not rocket science, it's the same system in place elsewhere." If want see Pakistani cricket to become truly professional it needs to be made into an institution.

  • Tirmizi on October 22, 2008, 8:19 GMT

    I don't really understand all this fuss about Mr Butt's comments about Lawson.Like every other person on this earth,he is entitled to his opinions.Mr Lawson is holding an accountable post and is expected to invite criticism.Can you tell me Honorable Mr Abbassi what are the contributions of Lawson to Pakistan cricket and why shouldnt he be judged?I think he is the most incompetent coach that we have had in a long time and his departure from Pakistan cricket would surely be good for it.

  • Hamza Farooq Islam on October 22, 2008, 8:13 GMT

    Spot on article Mr. Abbasi, we need a media gag on PCB officials , similar to what these very officials are so keen to impose on the players. These good for nothing pretenders to stardom must be shown their place.

    P.S Isnt Geoff Lawson the guy under whose tutelege Waugh and Taylor developed for NSW? give him time and then judge.

  • cric-fanatic on October 22, 2008, 7:41 GMT

    Why cant we get educated business men slash ex-cricketers to be the head of PCB. the best candidates that come to my mind are Asif Iqbal, Zaheer Abbas and Imran Khan. None of the others - be it ex-army men or self proclaimed intellectuals have done anything positive. Its a shame the comments made by Mr. Butt - very unproffesional indeed.

  • H.Malik on October 22, 2008, 7:19 GMT

    Dear kamran, Agree with you,the new PCB"supremo" is jyst a big mouth , before opening it , he should have realised that he was part & parcel of the previous regime of DR Nasim so what ever happened to the PCB state and its financial mismanagement , he shares the work and the wrong doings on equal footings . Now publically critising your Contract employee in a humiliating way , perhaps this big mouthed person does not know , he is also inviting a liable suit from Lawson which can run even bigger than the amount it would cost PCB to terminate the "so much useless Coach in Ejaz's words !" The press priefings from him underscores the true picture of people in power in general but the last 8+ years of General Mushy's hangers on and cronies in particular and that includes Ijaz Butt too . Destroy every bit of good in an institution either directly or as a silent partner,grab & enjoy all the trapigs and status,then try & to pose yourslef "Mr Clean "& shift all the bad monkey's to others .

  • Howie on October 22, 2008, 7:15 GMT

    Why would you announce that someone's contract is not being re-newed so far out of its completion. That is plain dumb. Geoff Lawson is a strange character, he was perceived as smug and over arrogant in Australia. His cricket sense is very sound but many people in Australia were bemused by his appointment. I wouldn't want him coaching my country but i do think he should be given a fair go.

  • Abdur Razzak on October 22, 2008, 7:01 GMT

    It appears as a joker has been replaced by another joker ! God bless Pak cricket.

  • Bilal Choudry on October 22, 2008, 6:51 GMT

    I think Miandad's inclusion in to the setup might have something to do with this assault on Lawson. I agree with Kamran that such opinion shouldn't be made public as it doesn't help the team.

  • Faraz Ahmed on October 22, 2008, 6:45 GMT

    I completely agree with you Kamran on the issue of Lawson. To be really honest, I think Mr. Butt is trying the mud slinging game to gain popularity. He has just about done everything to portray the previous regime as blood sucking ticks! I mean I was not a great fan of the past regime but how long do the Pakistani people have to resort with silly revelations rather then some real action to solve the crisis? Unfortunately, the way I see it, the political circle sees a huge account balance and now they are trying to gulp that down too (As evident by Mr. Butt claiming that PCB has NO finances! ) and lay the blame on Nasim Ashraf. Hope I am wrong.

    Eternally Optimistic Pakistani Fan

  • srivathsan on October 22, 2008, 6:34 GMT

    I fully agree with you. I was rather surprised at his rhetoric.I am not a fan of lawson & infact oppsed his selection in first instance itself. But to humiliate a person som openly by the chairman is no good either for his stature or for pakistan cricket.It is fine you dont renew his contract when it is due but why announce it now ?He could have been personally called & told about it instead of publicly humiliating him .If I were in Lawson's position ,I would have quit immediately.Self esteem is more important than few thousand dollors.What respect he commands from players now ?At least the previous person was more decent.I pity pakistan cricket.

  • haseeb bodla on October 22, 2008, 6:30 GMT

    i totally agree with you kamran, i mean how can you say things like lawson 's future is over in pakistan cricket while still he has a year left. terminating lawson 's contract or just waiting for it finish to will not resolve things, we need to change culture , we need to change thinking. i thought with appointing ex test cricketer will bring cricketing wisdom but it deosnot look like coming. i guess we captains like dhoni in modern era and domestic system like that aussies.these two objectives will summarise all tastks.

  • Ayaz F. Farooqi on October 22, 2008, 6:12 GMT

    I also find it quite perplexing why he had to utter his thoughts in the public just like the previous chairmen of the PCB. The only plausible reason I can think of is that he wants to hurt Lawson's ego to the extent that he leaves the job himself without bothering the cricket board with the hassle to fire him. This will save the cost PCB will incur if it decides to sack him. However has the PCB Chairman thought how much this act will tarnish the already battered image of the cricket board and the country? Or maybe he just does not care.

  • Riaz Husain on October 22, 2008, 5:50 GMT

    Pakistan seem to have an unending supply of idiots to become PCB Chairmen. All that can be said about Mr Ijaz Butt at this stage is 'here comes another one'. No wonder Pakistan cricket is held in such ridicule.

  • shwet awasthi on October 22, 2008, 5:49 GMT

    I am sorry to say this but Pakistani cricket establishment has a habit of being overtly jingoistic and pompous. I don't understand why MR. Butt wants to be a Butt of jokes after Nasim Ashraf indulged in some cartoonish acts and gave nonsensical quotes.If you want to evaluate a performance you have all the right to do it behind closed doors, however saying publicly that Lawson is 'Useless' is utterly tasteless and uncouth. I remember a time when India last toured Pakistan that a statement from PCB said that the 'Rawalpindi' express would be the difference between the two teams. It is another Matter that both the Pindi express and Mohammad sami huffed and puffed throughout the three tests and took about six or seven wickets between them. It was the wonderful Mohammad Asif who took wickets. The point I am making is that its very easy to get carried and make emotional statements , however is MR. Butt genuinely concerned about Pakistan cricket or wants to settle some personal vendetta.

  • Adnan on October 22, 2008, 5:31 GMT

    some how Mr Kamran critisize every thing for the sake of criticisam

  • J. Yamla on October 22, 2008, 4:55 GMT

    All I can say is that PCB is being run by one idiot after another. This explains sad story of Pakistan cricket.

  • prakash on October 22, 2008, 4:55 GMT

    I see buffoons in administrators of cricket. To Tell that national coach is useless even before the contract expires and also to keep him till April coz money is involved could be the Worst Problem statement which could have been defined. Pakistan needs cricket not this Jokers.

  • Sarfaraz on October 22, 2008, 4:51 GMT

    If Mr. Butt does not like Lawson then he should have fired him right now. Its not dignified to berate one of your key personnel in public. How can anyone expect him to perform for the rest of the contract and command respect of the team. He is a sitting duck from now on. Very disrespectful and gives Pakistan and Pakistanis a bad name. Might as well send him on paid leave and get another coach. Perhaps a Pakistani one this time.

  • Azi Syed on October 22, 2008, 4:49 GMT

    Mr. Kamran You are right but do You really expect some one who would do the job as PCB chief?. Not in my life time.

  • basit on October 22, 2008, 4:31 GMT

    another dumb ass who thinks he can run PCB... he does not even has sense to know what to say in public or keep in private...

  • SK on October 22, 2008, 4:17 GMT

    LOL! Does the antics of the Pakistani Cricket team or the PCB ever fail to amuse anyone? They very fact that the PCB is taken seriously in any organization (not just the ICC) is in itself unbeleivable. To state the matters simply, I beleive the cricketing world and Pakistani's all over the world would be better served if cricketing ties were cut with Pakistan and they were demoted to Zimbabwe's status. Zimbabwean cricket seems much more organized than Pakistan cricket!

  • saleem islam on October 22, 2008, 4:12 GMT

    More than insensitive, it's downright MEAN, low and plain ill-mannered. I mean, cool DOWN, Mr Butt, there's no reason to get PERSONAL. Makes me feel ashamed really ... aren't we Pakistanis (and Muslim people in general) KNOWN for hospitality ...? I'd just like to say to Mr Lawson that me, and the vast overwhelming majority of Pakistani people, just DON'T share this particular attitude expressed towards him. Whether you stay with us or not Geoff, thanks for giving us your time and energy. If I'm not mistaken, most of the PLAYERS had wanted you. Saleem Islam

  • ali on October 22, 2008, 3:39 GMT

    After some smart and insightful comments I'm afraid Mr.Butt has put his foot in his mouth. Why are you giving the players an out by announcing their coach is dead man walking? This makes no sense, this gives all the players an opportunity to look out for number 1 knowing the coach has no authority.

  • imran on October 22, 2008, 3:23 GMT

    This Butt guy seems like a jerk to me! I think that this new found attention from the media has made him think of himself as more important than he actually is. As for Lawson, Pakistan cricket always treats coaches with utter disdain.I cant remember the last time a coach's services were actually appreciated. Now with Butt's antics, the job of coaching pakistan should be the one avoided at all cost,especially by foreigners if they want to keep any semblance of their dignity intact. The job should be taken over by locals, who are used to seeing their egos smashed every now and than. p.s. I cant believe why people keep taking up this job when history tells there is nothing but disaster that comes with it. Imagine if John Bracewell was Pakistan's coach.

  • shafiq on October 22, 2008, 3:17 GMT

    Completely agree! We neither gave proper atmosphere (includes competitive cricket etc aswell) to check nor our chairman has any right to publically attack him before his tenure ends. It is completely insensitive, mean, illogical and at best 'cheap way to remain in news'. Only Allah is the hope for Pakistan and its sports.

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  • shafiq on October 22, 2008, 3:17 GMT

    Completely agree! We neither gave proper atmosphere (includes competitive cricket etc aswell) to check nor our chairman has any right to publically attack him before his tenure ends. It is completely insensitive, mean, illogical and at best 'cheap way to remain in news'. Only Allah is the hope for Pakistan and its sports.

  • imran on October 22, 2008, 3:23 GMT

    This Butt guy seems like a jerk to me! I think that this new found attention from the media has made him think of himself as more important than he actually is. As for Lawson, Pakistan cricket always treats coaches with utter disdain.I cant remember the last time a coach's services were actually appreciated. Now with Butt's antics, the job of coaching pakistan should be the one avoided at all cost,especially by foreigners if they want to keep any semblance of their dignity intact. The job should be taken over by locals, who are used to seeing their egos smashed every now and than. p.s. I cant believe why people keep taking up this job when history tells there is nothing but disaster that comes with it. Imagine if John Bracewell was Pakistan's coach.

  • ali on October 22, 2008, 3:39 GMT

    After some smart and insightful comments I'm afraid Mr.Butt has put his foot in his mouth. Why are you giving the players an out by announcing their coach is dead man walking? This makes no sense, this gives all the players an opportunity to look out for number 1 knowing the coach has no authority.

  • saleem islam on October 22, 2008, 4:12 GMT

    More than insensitive, it's downright MEAN, low and plain ill-mannered. I mean, cool DOWN, Mr Butt, there's no reason to get PERSONAL. Makes me feel ashamed really ... aren't we Pakistanis (and Muslim people in general) KNOWN for hospitality ...? I'd just like to say to Mr Lawson that me, and the vast overwhelming majority of Pakistani people, just DON'T share this particular attitude expressed towards him. Whether you stay with us or not Geoff, thanks for giving us your time and energy. If I'm not mistaken, most of the PLAYERS had wanted you. Saleem Islam

  • SK on October 22, 2008, 4:17 GMT

    LOL! Does the antics of the Pakistani Cricket team or the PCB ever fail to amuse anyone? They very fact that the PCB is taken seriously in any organization (not just the ICC) is in itself unbeleivable. To state the matters simply, I beleive the cricketing world and Pakistani's all over the world would be better served if cricketing ties were cut with Pakistan and they were demoted to Zimbabwe's status. Zimbabwean cricket seems much more organized than Pakistan cricket!

  • basit on October 22, 2008, 4:31 GMT

    another dumb ass who thinks he can run PCB... he does not even has sense to know what to say in public or keep in private...

  • Azi Syed on October 22, 2008, 4:49 GMT

    Mr. Kamran You are right but do You really expect some one who would do the job as PCB chief?. Not in my life time.

  • Sarfaraz on October 22, 2008, 4:51 GMT

    If Mr. Butt does not like Lawson then he should have fired him right now. Its not dignified to berate one of your key personnel in public. How can anyone expect him to perform for the rest of the contract and command respect of the team. He is a sitting duck from now on. Very disrespectful and gives Pakistan and Pakistanis a bad name. Might as well send him on paid leave and get another coach. Perhaps a Pakistani one this time.

  • prakash on October 22, 2008, 4:55 GMT

    I see buffoons in administrators of cricket. To Tell that national coach is useless even before the contract expires and also to keep him till April coz money is involved could be the Worst Problem statement which could have been defined. Pakistan needs cricket not this Jokers.

  • J. Yamla on October 22, 2008, 4:55 GMT

    All I can say is that PCB is being run by one idiot after another. This explains sad story of Pakistan cricket.