Ijaz Butt June 11, 2011

The Ijaz Butt list of showing causes

Includes a cook, a tailor and a portly former Pakistan wicketkeeper
39

Tuesday, 7th June The PCB moves in a mysterious way, its blunders to perform. Not so long ago, Ijaz Butt proposed an amendment to the ICC constitution, making possible the suspension of any cricket board that allowed political interference in its affairs. And a good thing too. Umar Gul doesn’t tell president Zardari who should be foreign minister, so why should El Presidente decide who gets to open the bowling.

It is such a good idea in fact, that the casual observer is immediately suspicious, the proposing of good ideas being not, as a rule, Mr Butt’s modus operandi. Perhaps it was the work of a rogue stunt double, hired to take the flak for Butty at public events. One who bluffed his way into an ICC meeting and went on a common-sense spree, running amok with dangerously sensible suggestions and alarmingly far-sighted ideas.

Anyway there is only one thing to do when your proposal is adopted and you realise you shouldn’t have proposed it in the first place. Sue the Butt off someone. And in the absence of any suitable candidate, the PCB chairman has today issued himself with a showcause notice, promising to drag himself through the highest court in the land if necessary. As a leaked memo from his office reveals, this brings the number of people against whom Ijaz has contemplated legal action into double figures:

1. Mr Shahid Afridi 2. Mr Shahid Afridi’s cat 3. The ICC 4. The ECB 5. The man who made that rotten biryani I ate last Friday 6. The tailor who keeps selling me those shrinking shirts 7. Mr Mike Gatting 8. Mr Henry Kissinger 9. Mr Elvis Presley 10. Mr Ijaz Butt

Wednesday, 8th June I’d like Mohammad Amir to be given just one more chance. I wish he could be let off with just a tousling of his floppy hair and a proper talking-to, because I can remember what it was to be 18 and sillier than a coach full of inebriated clowns on a day trip to Euro Disney. But really, there are limits.

Club officials told you it was all right to play? By club officials, you mean the collection of accountants, small businessmen and retired farmers whose administrative duties extend to committee meetings once a month and organising the annual fund-raising quiz night? Are these people best placed to judge whether you might be violating your ICC ban? And isn’t listening to glib assurances that everything will be just fine precisely how you got into this mess in the first place?

Now his ban will probably be extended to dice cricket, the reading of Alastair Cook’s biographies and the forward propulsion of any vaguely spherical object, including tennis balls, oranges, pomegranates, rock cakes and ostrich eggs.

And for what? For the grubby thrills of the Surrey Cricket League Division One. For an hour or two running round a badly mown oval, where the claps of fielders ring out across an unpopulated boundary edge; where tailenders take it in turns to don the oversized umpires coat and lunch consists of soggy egg mayonnaise sandwiches, slices of Battenburg and lukewarm tea. Was it worth it?

Maybe it was. Maybe he just can’t keep away. Maybe it proves his love for the game, albeit in a forlorn, not-going-to-help-much-with-his-appeal kind of a way. Maybe it shows he’s human. Or maybe it just shows he’s a fool, after all.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • NewICC2 on June 16, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    Very interesting comments. I see the patriotic statements from Pakistani's and of course from the rest. Love them all. All I believe is, that any crime once proven, should not be left not punished. For me, he got enough and by all means Enough. Cut this kid some slack, with a lot of community hours, whatever ICC decides with(probably a few courses for new cricketers, perhaps?) Talent like Amir is necessary for growth of this sports, we all love so dearly. (As far as his new breach of punishment is concerned, organizers need to be punished, not amir slapped with another year or two)

  • Hammad Khan on June 14, 2011, 11:18 GMT

    No doubt Amir is a great bowler,he is just 18,i really feel sad that Amir out of cricket, this is request to ICC high ups please take soft step for Amir, we are palying Amir in action.

  • Imtiaz on June 13, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    I feel that Amir should serve his ban, which will also send strong signal to others who are already or willing to participate in match fixing.

    I see it was foolish on part of Amir to play in some league.

    Nothing to take away from Amir, we all will miss him.

  • Alfred on June 12, 2011, 21:55 GMT

    Another name for Ijaz Butt - some chap he bumped into in the mess the other day called Bernard...

  • Rashid on June 12, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    It is shame that 18 years old with no prior offense gets severe punishment ,two years would have been appropriate.Specially when you have Ijaz But to lead a board that has the role to mentor a 17/18 years teenager.It is true that for some strange reason even after producing so many exciting players Pakistan team is victim of no voice in ICC.Well if one elect Ijaz that just makes makes it easier to wipe out good sport of cricket from Pakistan.ICC is enslaved by money so, eventually cricket will loose more and more.

  • Deepak on June 12, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    Even though they are banned, I feel these cricketers should be allowed to use the facilities at cricket clubs and stadiums (for which they must pay out of their filthily earned money) and maybe allowed to play club cricket (but not first-class cricket). Banning a cricketer shouldn't harm his chance to keep his cricketing skills sharp. Imagine Shane Warne being banned for his 'sharing information' episode early in his career or later during his 'my-mother-gave-me-this-medicine' and returning as a 180 pound rotund 'athlete'. We could have never seen the Warne of today. Shane had the monies to have a practice pitch and gym within his house, but what about Amir? How wonderful would it be to see a more mature and better Amir coming back and playing international cricket?

    ICC punish mistakes without killing talent.

  • Alex Farooque on June 12, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    Justice delayed is justice denied. First why the evidence was not made public. Secondly if the court of arbitration is going to do a hearing then they should do with it. Wasting time on whose expense? Anyways it's this CIA style of justice which makes everything very murky.

  • anas on June 12, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    Butt says: Afridi is using political support. Afridi says: Sir i knew you are defence minister's sister's husband your appointment politically motivated

    Conclusion: We both on same boat

  • Haider Mahdi on June 12, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    exactly I will like the words of Shoaib Mughal at last............ He has got talent and at that time his backup was upset (sulman butt) hence an original player can do any thing for his captain which has proved his loyalty for this game......of Cricket

  • ajmal on June 12, 2011, 4:04 GMT

    ICC should make proper rules for those players who's think is not fully understand the illegal persons who are destroying the careers of these players who's age is under 20 Years. These illegal people are targeting these players because these players have not complete information about the Match and spot fixings. that what will be happened if we do such things in our career. Mr. Amir is one of these players, he had not full information that he done. We are requesting to ICC that give him a chance for the last time and give the warning that he will not be repeat such play again, this will be the last chance for him in his future career.

  • NewICC2 on June 16, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    Very interesting comments. I see the patriotic statements from Pakistani's and of course from the rest. Love them all. All I believe is, that any crime once proven, should not be left not punished. For me, he got enough and by all means Enough. Cut this kid some slack, with a lot of community hours, whatever ICC decides with(probably a few courses for new cricketers, perhaps?) Talent like Amir is necessary for growth of this sports, we all love so dearly. (As far as his new breach of punishment is concerned, organizers need to be punished, not amir slapped with another year or two)

  • Hammad Khan on June 14, 2011, 11:18 GMT

    No doubt Amir is a great bowler,he is just 18,i really feel sad that Amir out of cricket, this is request to ICC high ups please take soft step for Amir, we are palying Amir in action.

  • Imtiaz on June 13, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    I feel that Amir should serve his ban, which will also send strong signal to others who are already or willing to participate in match fixing.

    I see it was foolish on part of Amir to play in some league.

    Nothing to take away from Amir, we all will miss him.

  • Alfred on June 12, 2011, 21:55 GMT

    Another name for Ijaz Butt - some chap he bumped into in the mess the other day called Bernard...

  • Rashid on June 12, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    It is shame that 18 years old with no prior offense gets severe punishment ,two years would have been appropriate.Specially when you have Ijaz But to lead a board that has the role to mentor a 17/18 years teenager.It is true that for some strange reason even after producing so many exciting players Pakistan team is victim of no voice in ICC.Well if one elect Ijaz that just makes makes it easier to wipe out good sport of cricket from Pakistan.ICC is enslaved by money so, eventually cricket will loose more and more.

  • Deepak on June 12, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    Even though they are banned, I feel these cricketers should be allowed to use the facilities at cricket clubs and stadiums (for which they must pay out of their filthily earned money) and maybe allowed to play club cricket (but not first-class cricket). Banning a cricketer shouldn't harm his chance to keep his cricketing skills sharp. Imagine Shane Warne being banned for his 'sharing information' episode early in his career or later during his 'my-mother-gave-me-this-medicine' and returning as a 180 pound rotund 'athlete'. We could have never seen the Warne of today. Shane had the monies to have a practice pitch and gym within his house, but what about Amir? How wonderful would it be to see a more mature and better Amir coming back and playing international cricket?

    ICC punish mistakes without killing talent.

  • Alex Farooque on June 12, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    Justice delayed is justice denied. First why the evidence was not made public. Secondly if the court of arbitration is going to do a hearing then they should do with it. Wasting time on whose expense? Anyways it's this CIA style of justice which makes everything very murky.

  • anas on June 12, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    Butt says: Afridi is using political support. Afridi says: Sir i knew you are defence minister's sister's husband your appointment politically motivated

    Conclusion: We both on same boat

  • Haider Mahdi on June 12, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    exactly I will like the words of Shoaib Mughal at last............ He has got talent and at that time his backup was upset (sulman butt) hence an original player can do any thing for his captain which has proved his loyalty for this game......of Cricket

  • ajmal on June 12, 2011, 4:04 GMT

    ICC should make proper rules for those players who's think is not fully understand the illegal persons who are destroying the careers of these players who's age is under 20 Years. These illegal people are targeting these players because these players have not complete information about the Match and spot fixings. that what will be happened if we do such things in our career. Mr. Amir is one of these players, he had not full information that he done. We are requesting to ICC that give him a chance for the last time and give the warning that he will not be repeat such play again, this will be the last chance for him in his future career.

  • Thomas Layton on June 12, 2011, 1:31 GMT

    Shoaib Mughal. I remember watching Amir when Pakistan was in Australia last year, I really thought that between him, Asif and Gul Pakistan had almost found the answer, then this happened. It's a tragedy not just for Pakistan but for everyone who watches cricket, Amir was poetry in motion. That doesn't detract though, from the fact that he got involved with the most despicable blight on the game, that is match fixing. I can almost understand why he did it, considering that with the PCB's record his future was still pretty uncertain. But that doesn't take away from the fact that he did do it and deserves the punishment for it.

  • Xubair on June 11, 2011, 21:54 GMT

    Let the kid breath ... ICC is being too harsh on him.

  • syed shah on June 11, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    i think tht icc should remove the ban from amir because he is a reall good player and hes the new Wasim Akram for pakistan cricket team..he will be the future of pakistan cricket team.BRING BACK AMIR

  • JQK on June 11, 2011, 21:27 GMT

    Life works in mysterious ways, but most of it is simple, uncomplicated and mundane. I don't think Amir played that match "for love of the game" (are you kidding?!) or for any other reasons other than money. The guy is only 18, not from a wealthy family, and wants to sustain a good lifestyle that he probably got used to in the year or so that he played international cricket before being banned. That club must have offered him a fat sum as appearance fees, and Amir, not for the first time, could not resist.

  • mindfreak on June 11, 2011, 20:03 GMT

    any cricketer who fixes a match should be banned for life.period. Everyone knows what match fixing is...one doesn't need a course to know that..It will be a chilling response and send a message to all the players to refrain from match/spot fixing. Players fixing matches are a disgrace to the world cricket.

  • Raks on June 11, 2011, 19:41 GMT

    So according to Mr. Shoaib Mughal and lot of pakistani fans, you could commit a crime if you are 18. No wonder pakistan cricket is in dire states.

  • kashan khan on June 11, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    dealing with player ban is not right. if players dont play cricket how they can earn monney. i think these players should go to international humman rights. ICC cant stop them to earm money from playing cricket. Acting like a dictator.

  • wajid khan on June 11, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    @Shoaib - yeah while we are at it - we should also legalise drugs et al and let all the shameful cricketers who have given our country a bad name due to drugs and cheating - straight back into cricket

  • aj on June 11, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    aamir is a kid,asif ,salman but and other player used him and took acvantage from him young age ,icc should let him play because he love cricket and he is 18years don,t know much rules just 1 chance to him amir is a great bowler no player like him in is age if he don,t listen to salman but he is out ofthe team .he need justicd from icc

  • Adil Badshah on June 11, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    Mohammed Amir should be given another chance this was the first and I presume that it would be last chance--The young boy is full of energy and he should be given a chance by the Cricket Authority by finishing of his ban or if not willing to finish off then reduce it from 5 years to 2 years. This is my request to the ECB...GOD Bless you.

  • Reddy on June 11, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    I'm inclined to think that to Mr Amir cricket is a drug, albeit one that he should really abstain from right now if he wants to get his helpings of red leather legally later on.

  • Momo on June 11, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    Butt is pushing his butt everywhere possible. he he he...

  • ChaganB on June 11, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    Proper knowledge of bribery should be given to him? Really? What world do you belong to where a grown man who is eligible to vote and who is eligible to drive because he is above 18 yrs needs to "informed" and educated about bribery and that bribery is not right?

    Seriously?

  • Usmaan Khan on June 11, 2011, 14:52 GMT

    icc should lift the ban from young amir and put it on ijaz butt.

  • umpiredickybird on June 11, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    the conditions of his ban state that he is banned from ALL FORMS OF CRICKET - which part of that does Amir not understand????? He obviously is not taking the whole thing seriously. He has shown no remorse, has not helped in investigations into fixing and betting - which makes you wonder is the guy even sorry for his actions? Another 2 year ban on top of his current ban is required in my opinion.

  • Harish on June 11, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    He was 18 when he got involved in the spot fixing. He was 18 when he was born and this rate he will my yet to be born grand daughter will soon overtake him in age. ICC should lift its Butt and tell Butt that this is just not on. But then Butt may sue another person and take the record to 11 making it a full cricket team.

  • Shabs on June 11, 2011, 14:13 GMT

    Lif tthe ban on Amir. He is only a kid. My son is the same age as Amir, i.e. just a kid, very susceptable to peer pressure. Doesnt say much about us when we punish someone so young so harshly. He is a great assett to cricket, and a grat entertainer.

    English fooballers who have bet on their team losing, then lost, have got away with 5 months ban, then re-instated. Shameful double standards!

  • IbrahimKhan on June 11, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    I think Amir has got enough punishment and should be pardoned and why not? I have read about lot of crimes all over the world committed by very renowned personalities, getting very harsh punishments and later reduced.The idea behind punishment is to give a chance to a person (like Amir who is innocent due to his age and guided by crooks) to rectify his mistakes and vows to abide by the rules and regulations for the rest of his life. We all love cricket and the passion we have seen in Amir he deserves a second chance.Yes if he is found to repeat the crime he has done before give HIM LIFE BAN!

  • wali on June 11, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    its not good icc make ban for only pakistani player its not icc sombady want like that so last thing for moh,d amir not good ban b,coz amir only 18 years old ony so i request to icc for amir only.

  • PakFan on June 11, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    ICC should devise a strategy where any young players (let say age under 21) that are hanging around for international team selection should receive a six month mandatory player development course. I suggest a condensed course for older players. The curriculum should be developed by the ICC covering topics including but not limited to match fixing, spot fixing, on field and off field behavior etc before handing it to the member Boards for implementation. Passing the buck to member Boards to do develop such a program is no longer an option when you are running this huge enterprise. Additionally, hoping teenage players would learn on their own is quite an unrealistic expectation.

  • paul guthrie on June 11, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    Ban him for life. He knew exactly what he was doing.

  • Aslam Siddiqui on June 11, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    YES,HE MAY BE GIVEN A CHANCE BUT NOT UNCONDITIONALLY.

  • Shardul on June 11, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    Shoaib,

    everyone wants to see Amir back, but lack of experience or ignorance of fixing laws cannot be an excuse for delibrate acts.

    He should have known better. And 5 years isnt long. he will be back by 23-24.

  • Pier Wasif on June 11, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    Amir should be given another chance he did not know Salman Butt was playing with his carrier. Amir's is to young to immature to innocent, banning him cricket world has lost a great talent. I wish he was given warning with guidance. we would love to see him back in the field.

  • amirforthewin on June 11, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    yeaah he is too young an i have great doubts about whether or not he new the implications of what he was doing. he obviously unintentionaly violated the ban circumstances, hence i think increasing his ban would be a harsh decision

  • Prashant on June 11, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    Blessed is the sport who has such rare talent, such rare genius. And the only thing a management is meant to do is to nurture it, preserve it and bask in glory of all the miracles it will produce. For someone not to pick such a diamond because you will have to bend to do so, will require sheer amount of buffoonery.

  • R.Kannan on June 11, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    I cannot help but feel sorry for Aamir. He is a young teenager apparently doing what his captain instructed him to do and gets banned. Contrast his case with many experienced players who got away. I wonder if any action would have been taken if Aamir was white teenager playing for Australia ?

  • S J Babar on June 11, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    why not the ban on the club responsibles to entertain such players or offer such players who are banned for ICC. a player can be hungry for a game, even if he has a ban from ICC and a reputed club offer/ allow him a game I take it itself a game against a star bowler. please corrct me if i 'am wrong.

    thanks

  • Shoaib Mughal on June 11, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    I think ICC should lift the Ban from Amir look at his age he is just 18 and the love which he has got for the game by no means he wants t sit home see the cricket on the TV a chance should be given to amir let him play and proper knowledge of bribery should be given to him else he knows the consiquences

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  • Shoaib Mughal on June 11, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    I think ICC should lift the Ban from Amir look at his age he is just 18 and the love which he has got for the game by no means he wants t sit home see the cricket on the TV a chance should be given to amir let him play and proper knowledge of bribery should be given to him else he knows the consiquences

  • S J Babar on June 11, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    why not the ban on the club responsibles to entertain such players or offer such players who are banned for ICC. a player can be hungry for a game, even if he has a ban from ICC and a reputed club offer/ allow him a game I take it itself a game against a star bowler. please corrct me if i 'am wrong.

    thanks

  • R.Kannan on June 11, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    I cannot help but feel sorry for Aamir. He is a young teenager apparently doing what his captain instructed him to do and gets banned. Contrast his case with many experienced players who got away. I wonder if any action would have been taken if Aamir was white teenager playing for Australia ?

  • Prashant on June 11, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    Blessed is the sport who has such rare talent, such rare genius. And the only thing a management is meant to do is to nurture it, preserve it and bask in glory of all the miracles it will produce. For someone not to pick such a diamond because you will have to bend to do so, will require sheer amount of buffoonery.

  • amirforthewin on June 11, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    yeaah he is too young an i have great doubts about whether or not he new the implications of what he was doing. he obviously unintentionaly violated the ban circumstances, hence i think increasing his ban would be a harsh decision

  • Pier Wasif on June 11, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    Amir should be given another chance he did not know Salman Butt was playing with his carrier. Amir's is to young to immature to innocent, banning him cricket world has lost a great talent. I wish he was given warning with guidance. we would love to see him back in the field.

  • Shardul on June 11, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    Shoaib,

    everyone wants to see Amir back, but lack of experience or ignorance of fixing laws cannot be an excuse for delibrate acts.

    He should have known better. And 5 years isnt long. he will be back by 23-24.

  • Aslam Siddiqui on June 11, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    YES,HE MAY BE GIVEN A CHANCE BUT NOT UNCONDITIONALLY.

  • paul guthrie on June 11, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    Ban him for life. He knew exactly what he was doing.

  • PakFan on June 11, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    ICC should devise a strategy where any young players (let say age under 21) that are hanging around for international team selection should receive a six month mandatory player development course. I suggest a condensed course for older players. The curriculum should be developed by the ICC covering topics including but not limited to match fixing, spot fixing, on field and off field behavior etc before handing it to the member Boards for implementation. Passing the buck to member Boards to do develop such a program is no longer an option when you are running this huge enterprise. Additionally, hoping teenage players would learn on their own is quite an unrealistic expectation.