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October 21, 2008

New age

Debate for the future 3: Button it Mr Butt

Kamran Abbasi
Ijaz Butt at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, October 9, 2008
 © AFP
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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

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Posted by 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.

Posted by 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 !!!

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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?

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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...

Posted by 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

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the international editor of the British Medical Journal. @KamranAbbasi

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