June 11, 2011

Ijaz Butt

The Ijaz Butt list of showing causes

Andrew Hughes
Mohammad Amir speaks on his return to Pakistan, February 8, 2011
"The club rule book said anyone who bowled above 45mph was welcome to play no matter what their past"  © AFP
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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

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Posted by 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)

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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...

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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

Posted by 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

Posted by 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.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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