Osman Samiuddin
Sportswriter at the National

Prescriptions for the PCB

Get rid of Ijaz Butt, take away some of the chairman's powers and spread them around, hire a CEO answerable to the governing body, and bring in more prominent former cricketers

Osman Samiuddin

September 27, 2010

Comments: 63 | Text size: A | A

Asif Ali Zardari poses for photos, Istanbul, January 25, 2010
Because of presidential involvement, over the years the board has essentially been like a poorly functioning, politicised state behemoth © AFP
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Change must come. First Ijaz Butt must go. That is a valid and necessary objective. Very soon he will have been board chairman for two years, and a more damaging tenure in the PCB's history has not been seen. Had he any sense of duty, he would have resigned last year, after failing to provide security from terror to a visiting side. People go to jail for less in countries that function.

There are many other reasons for him to go, but uppermost now is practicality. The bald truth is that, because of him, world cricket will not work with Pakistan. India cannot be courted for political reasons. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were lost last year, when Butt pushed for the 2011 World Cup to be taken away from the subcontinent because Pakistan could not host matches. Australia will not forget so soon Butt's opposition to John Howard as an ICC president-elect. England were allies but are now likelier to see him in court.

In the grand scheme of things, the remaining boards are irrelevant in voting terms or financial benefits. Pakistan does not play at home. With England gone, they have one less neutral option (and the existing one in the Middle East is not great financially). The ICC task force to help bring cricket back to Pakistan (headed by the latest board chief Butt has picked a fight with) has made more progress than has been publicly revealed. It will not remain unaffected. The PCB is truly isolated and Butt is the sole cause of it.

What are the ways out of this logjam if Butt stays on? As the board head of a Full Member country, he is also an ICC director. That position has its own code of conduct and his unthinking remarks about another full member may well constitute a breach. A resolution can be put forward by other directors calling for his suspension. The way things are, that is likely to gain more votes than any possible resolution tabled by Butt to remove Haroon Lorgat; quite apart from what anyone feels about Lorgat, where precisely will support for Butt's motion come from?

But beyond the removal of Butt, deeper change must come. It cannot be that Butt goes and another like him arrives, of which there is every chance, given how administration has broadly deteriorated over the last decade. Something very basic has to change in the way the board is run.

What is the problem? In plain words it stems from the chairman and how he is appointed. He is thrust upon the game by the country's president, the patron of the board, and is answerable to him and appointable and sackable only by him. This method of appointment has been in place since the early 60s. At that time there was a good reason for it. Cricket made little money and needed state patronage and funding; the president's involvement was one way of ensuring that.

Over the years, it has come to need neither. The PCB is now a mixed beast; it is not wholly a state institution or under the control of the sports ministry, but the very nature of the chairman's appointment makes it state-influenced.

The PCB generates its own revenue and is the only sports body in the country that pays taxes. Yet because of presidential involvement, over the years, the board has essentially replicated a poorly functioning, politicised state behemoth. It represents the political winds of the day and is full of the inherent failings of precisely such a body. Through chance, capable men are often appointed: AH Kardar, Nur Khan, to an extent Shaharyar Khan, and times are good. If not, then a period of crisis it is. Subsequent appointments, below the chairman, are made not on merit but nepotism, and entirely randomly. The organisation becomes bloated, inefficient, potentially corrupt and eventually of great harm to its own purpose. The PCB is not alone in Pakistan to be like that.

Over the last two years, everything has concentrated solely around Butt. When the ICC were trying to get in touch with him before releasing the statement about the Oval ODI, they didn't try anyone else at the PCB because they didn't know who the second-in-command is, or whether there was one

The most pressing and ideal change, then, is to delink this appointment and to not have the president as patron. Unfortunately, only the government itself has the power to do this, and no state in the world is eager to reduce its own sphere of influence. More realistic might be to hope for something from the current battle being fought over the chairman's powers in Islamabad's corridors of power. The board constitution as it stands prescribes no limits on the chairman's powers and doesn't even specify them particularly well: the chairman has as much power as he wishes, all of it unchecked. This constitution, incidentally, is not the creation of Butt's administration, but of the two preceding his. Butt, though, wants more power. The sports ministry, among others, wants him to have less.

In this constitution, the chairman is also the chief executive officer. He sits on the governing board (the senate of the PCB) and on the general body (the board's parliament). He appoints up to eight members of the governing board (the strength of which varies from 12 to 15 members). He appoints the captain, he approves selection of squads. The senior-most officers report only to him.

In recent administrations there has been valuable delegation of responsibility. Shafqat Naghmi, Saleem Altaf, Abbas Zaidi, Ramiz Raja, all provided not only necessary alternative centres of power, policy and thinking, they were, in themselves, a check on the chairman. Over the last two years, though, everything has concentrated solely around Butt. High-ranking officials refer every query to him, unwilling to speak at all themselves. When the ICC was trying to get in touch with him last weekend before releasing the statement about the Oval ODI, they didn't try anyone else at the PCB because they didn't know who the second-in-command is, or whether there was one.

Quite simply, power must be taken away from the chairman and spread around. Ideally the chairman should be a symbolic head and a CEO should be the man to run the institution. He need not be a man of cricket but one of proven ability to govern. Alongside the CEO, the character of the governing board - or executive council as it has been and might yet be called again - needs to change; it must at once become more independent and powerful. This body must become the engine of cricket administration.

Currently it has the elected heads of regional associations, an elected representative from departments (that are first-class sides), a couple of ex-Test cricketers, an official of the government, the chairman and an unfilled provision for technocrats. To this should be added more prominent ex-cricketers. There is no dearth of former players (such as Iqbal Qasim or Aamer Sohail, to name but two) with developed ideas of how the game can be better governed. Prominent modern leaders of business and industry must be included, to reflect the game's status as business and its future direction as a profitable one. Fewer members should be appointed directly by the chairman. A chief executive should, in fact, be hired by, and answerable to, the governing board.

The lights come on at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, MCC v Durham, Abu Dhabi, March 29, 2010
The UAE remains one of Pakistan's few welcoming neutral options, but it is not a financially viable one © PA Photos

And though there is a provision for a general body in the constitution, a larger, more representative body of stakeholders to steer cricket in a broader sense - to ensure development and representation in areas like interior Sindh and Balochistan, for example - Butt's administration hasn't even formed one yet.

Elsewhere must be made the more generic changes that any such organisation looking to reform makes. Over the years, to no discernible enhancement of productivity, the PCB workforce has grown to nearly 800. Admittedly in Butt's time they have tried to bring it down, and even if the days when five people ran the board are gone, much flab has to be cut. Happily, among the lower levels of management there are enough who prove that while entire organisations may be rotten, all the people inside them aren't necessarily that way.

These are not vast structural changes. The board does not need, as was suggested at one point in the mid-90s, to go public and float shares. Some call still for an unclear privatisation, but it is unlikely that this can, or should even, be done: the representation of a national side should not be left to what is by nature a private entity.

In any case, the real rot has sunk in at the very top and the process must begin from there. There simply is no other option.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

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Posted by Toescrusher on (September 30, 2010, 21:19 GMT)

Butt is an ideal candidate for tooth paste commercial he keeps his mouth conveniently open for the camera shot it seems like he does especial exercises to keep his mouth open mostly due to bigger bites of food some time with both hands Butt won't mind third hand either this exercise enabled him to keep his larger mouth continuously open. When asked how do you feel for keeping you large mouth open? He responded "he feels there is great advantage of having bigger mouth i.e. he doesn't have to chew food he can straight dump it into his bailey" This was one of the criteria for Zardari to select Butt he always needed someone with open mouth other criteria for Butt's nomination was his ability to do Malakhrra and Dunggle (largest province local sports). As an extra curricular activities Butt like to chew greens which is another qualification on his resume.

Posted by bharath74 on (September 30, 2010, 16:48 GMT)

History of Pak proves that when ever the country ran into trouble, military seize power, followed by a military general being appointed and a military related guy will be made the head of the PCB thus furthering the crisis both in the country and its cricket. Stripping military of its power is vital in bringing stability to Pak, military acts like an axe on politicians neck thus not allowing them to perform to their potential. Once the military interference in stops, Country and its Cricket will flourish.

Posted by Hassan.Farooqi on (September 30, 2010, 12:47 GMT)

Butt goes when his brother-in-law when Sr. Federal Minister Ahmed Mukhtar goes. Ahmed Mukhtar goes when his long time buddy Asif Ali Zardari goes, and that would be December by some estimates. Until then, relax!!!

Posted by TimmyF_23 on (September 30, 2010, 4:57 GMT)

Personally i would like to see strict punishment handed out to Pakistan cricket in general. This match fixing debacle is embedded into their cricket culture. The only way to solve it is a total reconstruction of the Pakistan system and the players involved. Anybody suspected or even linked to match fixing should be banned for life. The ICC constantly keeps bending over backwards for Pakistan offering assistance, eg: offering test matches at neutral venues so they get some test matches and they keep throwing it back in their faces. Its time for some harsh action! Suspend the entire pakistan cricket for a year and make them learnt their lesson.

Posted by Toescrusher on (September 29, 2010, 20:36 GMT)

Choosing Butt is this the best largest province can do? Butt doesn't even sounds like respectable English who could even afford to have Butt as their name? Largest province is torturing English why Butt? We might be able to find an answer in one of the 80s quiz show a famous host asked: Where in Pakistan most of the four legs animals are found? The answer given by the audience "the largest province" Interestingly there was a character also on Pakistan TV comedy show 50/50 his name was Butt as well to fully understand Butt this character must be watched of course in Urdu. Interestingly Butt acquires identical place in both languages it will be sigh of relief for English, Urdu & Cricket if the largest province avoid naming Butt & choosing Butt after all no one is excited to use the word Butt unless it is absolutely required i.e. "Kiss my ----". Hoping in the future Butt will stay to its original position BUT if it moves it will nothing BUT the blessings of the largest province.

Posted by bharath74 on (September 28, 2010, 17:52 GMT)

Its not just the PCB that needs restructuring, its the whole country that needs restructuring. The only hope for Pakistan Cricket is rested on ppl like Saeed Anwar, Abdul Qadir,,,. But who will give them power?

Posted by voyager on (September 28, 2010, 17:09 GMT)

Main purpose of a sports body and especially in a country like Pakistan (or Ind,Ban, Sri) should be to promote sports at grass roots level to help develop healthy society. excelling at international level would be/should be the by product of such activity. Talking about Pakistan we are too obsessed on the success of national team and relate its success(or lack thereof) to the health of the sport in the country. Board's performance is also tied to the success of national team, which is wrong. Aus, Eng & NZ do that quite effectively, they encourage kids and people of all ages to take up and enjoy sport and use it as tool for personal fulfillment and improvement and we can see that at international level they stay at a consistent level according to their skills and aptitude. For pakistan we should be confident that if larger pool of people get to experience the sport we 'will' get world class talent, in the end its a probability game. current crises is also result of our obsession

Posted by Tijara on (September 28, 2010, 17:01 GMT)

I am sure that it there is no thruth in the vague rumors that the Pakistani players have been arranging spot-fixing on behest of PCB. Also there is no need for the Indian government to close the already illegal betting dens, as money is not being channeled from India to pakistan through these betting dens.

Posted by Toescrusher on (September 28, 2010, 16:45 GMT)

As a Pakistani we don't have the luxury to think "Nothing will change in Pakistan" this is exactly what corrupt rulers of Pakistan want us to think. The reality is things changes and it can be change thru media and public pressure as a matter of fact anyone who sends them the shockwave is media keep in mind this is the communication age we are living in. In our capacity we should let ICC & Cricket Boards around the world know that PCB is a monopoly PCB doesn't have representation of all the regions of Pakistan knowing ICC & world body is for the growth of cricket for all regions not for the monopoly of one region. It is the ICC who has control not the other way around. Having said that this is also important to remember things doesn't change overnight. Bottom line is Pakistan cricket ought to be back on its glory days and we can do it by contributing tiny amount watch Finding Nemo there is lesson in it how small fish can over come big obstacle by contributing tiny amount of effort.

Posted by asadkum on (September 28, 2010, 14:18 GMT)

Mohammad Asad from USA ........... What the hell Pak Media is doing !!!!! Is the Media currupt too ????

Posted by zashrafi on (September 28, 2010, 12:52 GMT)

I nominate Osman Samiuddin as next PCB head hancho.

Posted by   on (September 28, 2010, 11:33 GMT)

If we are all in agreement that a primary problem with the PCB is Management, then all efforts should be targeted towards putting a better mgmt team in the PCB for that purpose the PCB head quarters has to be in Karachi. While it remains in lahore there cant be any sustainable change for the better.

Posted by UNIVERSAL_CRICKETER on (September 28, 2010, 11:22 GMT)

Removing Ijaz Butt is the 1st step but NOT the solution. The SOLUTION is to throw out the politicians involved with PCB including persons with shady past of involvement with the bookie lobby & to negate the military rulers tendency of influencing everything that generates money since it is these greedy group which impose corrupt cartoons like Ijaz Butt as their proxies. Appoint Mr.Imran Khan the PCB chairman, because he is the only person left in Pakistan who have credibility & respect of people outside Pakistan. Pay the selectors & others involved with training & administration salary & make them accountable for THEIR job. Last but not the least, make PCB a Democratically elected organization, which i doubt it will ever be.

Posted by   on (September 28, 2010, 9:48 GMT)

@ZINDIAN You got my nationality wrong mate.Iam an Indian.SRK acted like a hypocrite on that occasion and he didn't give any reasons for not selecting a Pakistani cricketer and later lamenting their absence.I don't care much about Pakistan under Zardari but we have to watch our back first.Pakistan Cricket is becoming a joke since their T-20 win and PCB has to arrest this problem.

Posted by   on (September 28, 2010, 8:23 GMT)

keep right is right about PCB getting the taste of their own medicine. A dictator that Butt is, he will soon bite the dust for being unfair to his own people.

Rameez and A. Sohail were really good, but yes, they let corrupt tauqir zia play his bald son for our country and that chap almost lost us an ODI to bangladesh single handed once.

Posted by   on (September 28, 2010, 7:46 GMT)

For Mr Zardari democracy is good as far as he is in power.For others its different rules.PCB is operated on dictatorial principles and not as institution where all members are elected on votes.Now one PPP leader confess in TV interview that corruption is their right.He was forced to resigned.In private most PPP leader say the same thing.This is their culture which they brought to PCB.Nothing will change unless PCB is run like co-operate who's body is elected by people.Who should be a elected CEO or chairman instead of some idiot picked by political party.Period.

Posted by ozone8237 on (September 28, 2010, 4:39 GMT)


Posted by shyda123 on (September 28, 2010, 0:43 GMT)

Make Wasim Akram the head of PCB and Make Salim Malik the Manager. Probably bring Attaullahman to act is a chief selector. Bring back Amir, Asif and make Sulman Butt again the captian of Pakistan. I would say handover the ICC Presidency to Asif Ali Zardari, and make Izharudin, Jadeja, Prebaker, Shane Ware, and co the members of ICC panel. After that the cricket will gain its credibility, it moral ground and may things more.

Posted by   on (September 27, 2010, 22:51 GMT)

Mr. Osman Sami-uddin (editor):

Why do not we accept the reality that Pakistan Cricket will never have anything consistent, right one. We have had this debate in the last couple of years but these have not really worked out. Let it be the way it is.

We have won and lost, we have been good and bad. Forget about putting the structure right. Be happy the way it is.


Posted by ZINDIAN on (September 27, 2010, 20:29 GMT)

ASIS ROUT I might sound a little whacky but frankly, SRK if he really wanted the pakistani players, why didn't he pick them himself during the auction. He made these statements later so that his movie MNIK is watched by the people across the border. Anyways, coming to the point, look at the difference between the indian and pakistani administration and attitude. India is corrupt, no doubt, but people are moving in right direction. A guy as powerful as Modi is kicked out and I am sure would never come back. Look at the pakistani association. almost all the players were involved in fixing according to Quayyum report in 2000, but now most of them are involved in the administration (Wasim and Waqar). If you mentor is a convicted match fixer and got away with it, what message would it send to the players? If president Zardari, who is a pioneer in corruption and what not, is your chief patron, do you think his followers would be angels? Who will cure the doctor if he is infested?

Posted by Toescrusher on (September 27, 2010, 20:08 GMT)

Osman Samiuddin & Cricinfo staff deserves all the appreciations for bringing up this crucial subject. I wish this article would have been written by someone from the largest province of Pakistan what a shame for smaller benefit they always muted this mute has caused unthinkable damage to cricket in Pakistan. It is true non democratic PCB chief gives largest province surplus of representation but on what cost? Marijuana, Nandrolone,Spot-Fixing,Match-Fixing,Non-Deserving Players,Revolts & of course bad name to Pakistan. Elected PCB chief is the solution the question: Is the largest province ready yet? Holding this monopoly further will be disasters. Someone mentioned Imran Khan he is great but not the solution for all ills it is the system that needs to be upheld which means equal representation elected by the provinces not by the President which also means the largest province will have to negotiate fewer representation for the greater stature of cricket in Pakistan & around the world.

Posted by swisstar on (September 27, 2010, 19:37 GMT)

yeah, butt is mr president's close friend so what u can expect from this corrupt person. President is letting down the whole country and butt is letting down pakistan cricket ..

Posted by Wasif_Minhas on (September 27, 2010, 19:26 GMT)

Well Osman, you have pointed out some basic flaws but this article is BUTT centric, there is a lot more which needs to be straighten out like PCB should have proper representation of all cricket bodies/associations within the country. Though this article is good to read but it is ill-timed to say the least. Problems were there but articulating them when the two top cricketing boards are conspiring against PCB is not the right way. At first place ICC has failed to implement its FTP and many teams didnt visit Pakistan even before the security concerns were raised, then ICC anti corruption unit is white elephant as they are obviously not doing anything to eradicate fixing from IPL. ICC should come out of the bias and help the poor boards financially and morally. What else can we expect when an agriculture minister governs the ICC.

Posted by madjag on (September 27, 2010, 18:54 GMT)

Osman.. u are right, the source of the problem lies at the top, even higher than the PCB. When the most corrupt man in the country becomes the president, what else can be expected by its citizens. Accepting bribes has become the norm, and the entire government including the President needs a shakedown. @ZINDIAN... these so called cheats and liars, were discriminated against from the IPL purely on the political basis. Some of the Pakistani players are considered the best Twenty20 players in the world, and if it wasnt for the politcal fallout between the two countries, you'd been sitting there rooting for these so called cheats and liars on your favorite team.

Posted by Snick_To_Backward_Point on (September 27, 2010, 18:09 GMT)

Kicking out Ijaz "You Can Kiss My" Butt is only part of the solution. There have to be fundamental changes in the way corruption and match-fixing is safeguarded against not just in Pakistan but across all ICC boards. If you do what you've always done, you get what you've always got.

Posted by waxteruk on (September 27, 2010, 17:59 GMT)

You can keep writing, writing, writing that things need to change within the PCB, but will it happen I think not. When corrupt politics are involved there will never be any hope for this cricketing nation. If you look at the problem it stems from our so called patron of cricket our president who can't even run his own country and only cares about himself. Until Pakistan cricket has nothing to do with politics and does not involve Butt who looks like he is very close to having a heart attack as he cannot even sit on a chair properly then Pakistan cricket has no hope.

Posted by   on (September 27, 2010, 17:54 GMT)

@ZINDIAN I dont think SRK can technically be called a 'Muhajir' even if his father went to Delhi before partition.SRK was well within his right to lament the absence of Pakistani players but why didn't he bought Abdul Razzaq in the auction should be the question.That makes him a hypocrite.But you are talking a bit like a Shiv Sainik.No saner person will take offence to that innocuous comment.But frankly our Indian media would have dearly wanted Indian Cricket to be in a position vis a vis Pakistan Cricket.They would be having a field day with these many controversies.I have never seen a foul mouthed sports administrator like Ijaz Butt.

Posted by Tatom on (September 27, 2010, 17:49 GMT)

Stupid and non-sense comment how can ICC dont know about the details of its permanent member PCB that who is second in command, PCB managers and director operations are always involved in the ICC meetings... secondly yes there is need for more former cricketers to be involved and less politisizing of the body... and surely needed some more active and more strong person like Imran khan in that place.... with full powers ....

Posted by ZINDIAN on (September 27, 2010, 17:16 GMT)

Its laughable that when ever something happens the whole pakistani community talks as if something is going to happen. It won't because the whole establishment is corrupt. Look at the history. Shoaib and Asif were cauht with drugs, they ban them and suddenly pardon them. Shoaib is banned so many times and he comes back. After Australian trip, they ban so many cricketers and sudenly they recall them from retiemtnt. There are no ethics in teh establishment and every player knows that they can get away by doing anything. I am so glad that these cheats and liare are not playing in IPL, if not they would corrupt the whole thing. If SRK wants these tainted players in his team, that muhajir should go back to his home country.

Posted by shabhash on (September 27, 2010, 16:26 GMT)

what do you expect from a corrupt president? first he should be removed and everything should fall into place (PCB included).

Posted by trident1 on (September 27, 2010, 15:59 GMT)

Ejaz Butt, please resign. Because of your ineptness - we are misunderstood, isolated and negatively perceived, your lack of vision - our grassroot club and first class cricket is floundering without an enabling system or framework, your lack of management skills - indiscipline continues to foster both in our team and PCB ranks, your lack of cricket insight - we are unable to provide continuity of competent leadership in terms of Captaincy and vice-Captaincy, your lack of political acumen - our leadership position as a major player on the world cricketing stage has eroded, and lastly your egocentric obstinancy coupled with reality denial - our nations burning passion for cricket has nearly suffocated. Please let Pakistan cricket regain its credence and respect.

Posted by syedahmed91 on (September 27, 2010, 15:58 GMT)

Pakistan cricket board should be ran as an corporation. Ex-cricketers who probably started cricket at an very early age and did not finish their school should NOT be admistrators. We all pleaded against naseem ashraf when he didn't allow the icl players to play for pakistan, we all said BRING EX-CRICKETS AND THINGS WILL BE GREAT THINGS WILL CHANGE, did any of that happen? No. Adminstrators know how to do their jobs, they know how to talk to business people they know how to finance and bring revenue and bring the right people for the right job. Ex-cricketers who on play cricket should not be given a job of an adminstrator. Best suggestion would be Dr. Mohammad ali shah who is also has a cricket background and is an well educated person.

Posted by Paullarn on (September 27, 2010, 15:32 GMT)

No doubt PCB needs overhauling but in my opinion ICC has more blame than anyone else for spot fixing by Pakistani players. I am no way saying what they did was right.

My question is what do you expect when you deprive these players of making money when they are on peak of their careers. 20/20 finalist for 2008, 20/20 world champions for 2009, yet no one wants to play in Pakistan. IPL insulted them by inviting them but not choosing one of them due to political pressure from Indian government. ICC says IPL is a private venture beyond their jurisdiction and they can not tell them how to run their affairs yet they were very vocal about telling cricket boards to de-list people who were playing for ICL. ICC has no balls to speak the truth. ICC should tell IPL and India either you give all players from every country a fair shot or we will not endorse IPL any more. But the fact is they won't because IPL and India are cash cow for them, hence discrimation against Pakistani players continues

Posted by Desihungama on (September 27, 2010, 15:31 GMT)

For God's sake Osman, Do not suggest to bring in former cricketers. In Pakistan, a former cricket is at best a Neandrathol. They resist change, refuse to adapt and convinced that their old ways work the best and in process will be eliminated from the face of cricket. Bring in a CEO from one of Pak's successfull business sectors and run it like a private entity.

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (September 27, 2010, 14:08 GMT)

Excellent article. There's no doubt that Ijaz Butt ought to go. The problem, unfortunately, is that Mr. Butt is not the problem but only the outward manifestation thereof and therein lies the tragedy of Pakistan cricket. Until cricket is freed from political control and is allowed to be run by people appointed purely for their competence, there will come and go many more Ijaz Butts unless, purely by chance, there comes a truly competent administrator. That kind of change needs political will which, in the sub-continent, is almost always lacking.

In short, the condition of Pakistan cricket is similar to that of non-cricketing sports in India- run by inefficient men with no passion or commitment to the sport and who are there only to serve their own vested interests.

Posted by Maq80 on (September 27, 2010, 13:21 GMT)

I do concur with this article, however, removing Butt from the seat aint a solution as it must be understood. A bit of unbiasedness from the ICC should also not be ignored... A statement given in this article about how ICC didnt felt the need to contact the PCB cos they were unaware of second in command authority .... lol Come On now ! that should be cleared out.... ICC & PCB are being governing bodies... in this age & technology you cant get hold of another official ... a pity to even listen !!

Posted by   on (September 27, 2010, 12:58 GMT)

I dont know why people call asking Imran Khan to "run Pakistan cricket". FYI ignorant posters, Imran is a far far more capable man than to be bound by the remits of running a simple national cricket board. The man has set up a tremendous and valid political force in the country whose time will come. He is involved in running a free cancer hospital and as a oxford graduate and man of integrity i doubt he would have the time and inclination to sully his hands amongst the bad crop of characters surrounding pakistan cricket right now. The solution is simple. Butt be sacked, all his cronies with him. Yawar Saeed never let near a Pakistan team again. Amir and Butt banned for life and the other unsavoury characters asked to own up and offered an amnesty under teh condition of anonymity, although they should never play for the national squad again they couldbe free to play their trade elsewhere and a non governmental body run by the judiciary set up. In regards to Amir a 5 year ban.

Posted by Niju_001 on (September 27, 2010, 12:31 GMT)

I find many questioning that what has been proved against the Pakistani cricketers? If what shown in the media is not to be believed then fine... but the PCB chief Butt indirectly accepted his cricketers involvement by saying certain names of English cricketers too are discussed with the bookie circles. By this he first accepts Pak cricketers are involved and blames the media for not bringing out the English(If they are involved!). Secondly he himself has ties with the bookies... otherwise how would he know!!! THINK!! HOW WOULD HE KNOW!!!. This guy is a misfit... he could not handle the situation and made it a mess. On the other hand look at how the ECB handled his allegations... either he has to come up with an apology for his burst or meet in the court for defaming the English. From where would he get the evidence against the English? High time Imran Khan gives up politics and takes the mantle of PCB. He is the only Pakistani Ex-cricketer who can now revive this situation.

Posted by Niju_001 on (September 27, 2010, 12:11 GMT)

I pity the current state of cricket affairs in Pakistan. Its now in a mess, forget match fixing its there in cricket for a long time but the way these issues are handled by the PCB of Ijaz butt was pathetic. The morale of Pakistan cricket has gone down. I dont think the PCB could do anything in this situation. ICC should intervene in this issue for the sake of cricket in Pakistan. As Osman says Ijaz Butt is a liability and a shame for Pakistani cricket, he needs to go out or thrown out. ICC at this point should come up with demands of his sacking for the revival of cricket in Pakistan and team with proper intelligence / security agencies and curb this Match Fixing issues. Make the laws stringent such that no players or officials can even think about match fixing. These bookies lure young cricketers with money and other gifts they can even dream of and bring shame to the game of Cricket. Passionate lovers of cricket are hurt and its the responsibility of ICC to revive cricket.

Posted by krsriram on (September 27, 2010, 11:09 GMT)

There is only one person with credibility within Pakistan and abroad, who can not only take charge, but also re-build bridges with other Boards. Besides leading Pakistan to its only World Cup victory, he is also one of the few Pak cricketers with a universal fan following, not only in the sub-continent but also elsewhere - Imran Khan. Unfortunately, he is still concentrating on building a political career (which does not appear to be exactly prospering), nor would the current patron of PCB be very keen on geeting a political opponent "on board".

Posted by TestIsBest on (September 27, 2010, 11:08 GMT)

News Flash: Mohammad Aamer clarified, "Test captain Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif forced pace bowler Mohammad Amir into spot-fixing". Which hence proved that Pakistani player were tainted. Feel sorry for Pakistani fans.

Posted by vishwa_a on (September 27, 2010, 9:46 GMT)

@ShahidUsman: You are right in asking: "Nothing has been proved against any Pakistani player so why they are suspended?" But, please do ask the same question to PCB: Nothing has been proved against Yunis Khan so why he is banned? You get the taste of your own medicine!

Posted by Gollo81 on (September 27, 2010, 9:44 GMT)

Interesting stuff, but given that match fixing appers to be endemic in cricketers both past and present, how do you know you can trust the ex players that have been brought in? Are there any ex players that are truly beyond suspicion?

Posted by soorajiyer on (September 27, 2010, 9:11 GMT)

Our problem is 'us', 'you', 'me' and 'we' ! @ Amad, I seriously admire and admit this is the problem with Pakistan and India. (The CWG mess, thankfully cricket is slightly better run, only slightly!)..

Posted by   on (September 27, 2010, 9:07 GMT)

For those who say Ban Pakistan from cricket...should read this...and I think then the whole world should be banned from cricket...


Posted by KKNIAZI on (September 27, 2010, 9:07 GMT)

Aamir Sohail? I think Osman has forgotten that this very chap along with Rameez Raja in the times of Tauqir Zia ensured that their Chariman's son Junaid Zia play for the country without any significant contribution in domestic cricket or having talent. These sort of people does not deserve any place in any sort of management whatsoever.

Cheers, Kaleem

Posted by Yassar on (September 27, 2010, 9:05 GMT)

I have said from a very long time now that the stucture of the PCB needs changing and the biggest change that needs to happen is to remove any links the PCB has with a political government. That in turn should lead to Osman's suggestions above. In short the following are necessary changes needed to be implemented 1. Remove link with government 2. Remove Ijaz Butt and form a board in which it's chairman is elected by board of governers and ultimatley is accountable to 3. PCB must be made up competent & qualified indivuduals for each and every role 4. Re-vamp domestic circuit. Pakistan needs regional teams inorder to help build a effective following of domestic cricket 5. Improve cricketing infrastructure. Only Punjab and Karachi have any real infrastructure. Pakistan is bigger than just these two locations and it must utilise all its regions. 6. Market the domestic game better which will in turn market Pakistan cricket as a better product to world cricket

Posted by Hassan_Mir on (September 27, 2010, 8:53 GMT)

I sortof agree with the article but what about the performance of former players like Aamir Sohail , Javed Miandad etc. They have been associated with the boards in some context but the question is that have they delivered too ?? I think if you are looking for involving former players then we should avoid the lights of Aamir and Javed etc who are either associated with the board or giving cheap comments to the television channels to make good money !!!!!!!!

Posted by farata on (September 27, 2010, 8:52 GMT)

Very well-written piece Osman, but one that would have zero effect on those who CAN actually do anything about it. There is simply no will. The govt has plenty on its hand to keep it busy.. cricket is the least of their bothers at this moment. PCB (and Butt sb) shall stay firmly where and as they are, and we, the blessed of this country are destined to watch them perform.

Posted by Hoggy_1989 on (September 27, 2010, 8:22 GMT)

Honestly, with all the problems Pakistan brings to world cricket (ever changing captains, useless players being in favour and good players left out), a turbulent political scene and now allegations of match-fixing and spot-fixing...they should just do what Zimbabwe have done and leave Test cricket, perhaps all cricket indefinitely until they get their house in order which.

Posted by   on (September 27, 2010, 8:07 GMT)

no matter what you say, the picture to you posed up front explains it all, what to you expect from such a patron? Angels? This is our fate, destiny and punishment for our deeds, as we need to call him Patron and his subordinates Chairman, where they are not worth to be discussed.... so just forget about changing anything unless we change ourselves...

Posted by   on (September 27, 2010, 8:05 GMT)

Ejaz Butt has been the worst PCB Chairman ever. His cricketing carrear was brief.In 1962 Pakistan tour of England he was branded The Tourist Crickter by British press. All he did was roaming arround the streets London with his cameras. Got married into a rich industrial family Gujrat made no contribution to cricket in Pakistan. 1959 Test Match at Bagh-e-Jinnah was my first full 5 Day Test matched that I watched. Then 2 years laterhe turns up with Pakistan Cricket team in England. His appointment should be investigated. Imran Khan should be given the reigns of Cricket that seems to more important in Pakistan than heading the Government. Cricket is the pation of the nation and that must be preserved at any cost.

Posted by Maq80 on (September 27, 2010, 7:51 GMT)

@Amad .... Excellent ! Well Said !

Posted by AhmadSaleem on (September 27, 2010, 7:48 GMT)

amad, hundred percent agree with you

Posted by Amad on (September 27, 2010, 7:29 GMT)

While I do understand the need of your loyalty to your employers, but please note that Pakistan cricket's problem are much deeper than what you realize. Changing one person at the top doesn't resolve anything.

How short is the public's and your memory Osman. Aamir, was the worst chairman of selectors.

How come so much noise is being made when English players are implicated in Match/Spot fixing? Are they angels, who cannot be blamed without any proof while the integrity of our players is free for all to question?

Why should Butt resign? Would Haroon resign on his wrongful implication of the Oval One day? If the charges against our players are not proved, will you resign for reporting mere speculations and heresay? Will the tabloids stop their publications? Will Rameez Raja resign, of apparently stating that its an open and shut case against our players. I don't think so.

Our problem is not the PCB chief or PCB etc. Our problem is 'us', 'you', 'me' and 'we'.

Posted by Meety on (September 27, 2010, 6:59 GMT)

Its a shame they someone as completely out of his depth as Butt, can keep his position. One question I really want an answer to is in regards to his comments about a circle of bookies have said that English players were on the take, my question is How would he know? What sort of person in his position knows what illegal bookies are saying? Very suss.

Posted by DrMeister on (September 27, 2010, 6:40 GMT)

Great idea ... but who is going to do it? Looks like we need the Chief Justice to take this to the Supremem Court as well! 800 staff is beyond all quangos! I think ths board can run with 50. This is the issue with the whle country - jobs for the boys. Maybe we need a head of PCB that is female ... now that will get the boards onside!

Posted by evenflow_1990 on (September 27, 2010, 6:17 GMT)

very good suggestions. PCB would do well to listen.

Posted by MSDonLSD on (September 27, 2010, 5:32 GMT)

Osman I am sorry to sound cynical but I think you are wasting your time with all these prescriptions because at the end of the day the very bottom line is that the PCB is linked with the central government and your precription suggests breaking that very link that benefits both these entities. Yes, bringing in ex cricketers would be great for the game in Pakistan but it would also mean the two most powerful entities in Pakistan will not be governed to mutually benefit each other any more. As selfish as that sounds unfortunately it is the reality of human nature in politics!

Posted by ShahidUsman on (September 27, 2010, 5:20 GMT)

Hi to everyone I agree and disagree with you at some points. Butt is wrong, there is no doubt about it but his demand for the removal of Lorgat is quite realistic. Nothing has been proved against any Pakistani playerso why they are suspended? Why Lorgat is issuing statements against Pakistan players? Has he got any permission from the board of directors to do such things? Lorgat is in the breach as well and it is a fact that ACSU is not functioning at all and that is why Lorgat has to thank the newspapers. Now will everybody listen to what media says then I think Pakistan media should play some role too and then see if Lorgat is still thankful.

Posted by soorajiyer on (September 27, 2010, 4:17 GMT)

Osman, just changing Butt is not going to solve problems. Problem with Pakistan are many. 1.Whether the older generation really wants the newer generation to succeed. They come out with statements which are really damaging! (you are not alone, we indians are there with you too. but since BCCI pays pension to the older generation, half the people are silent). 2. How many number of times can a person retire?? Afridi, should never be allowed to come back to test team. He would think he is doing the poeple a favour. 3. Perfomance linked salary and with pakistan a foreign coach or a bowling coach dont work. But a strong man like Wasim Akram or Imran Khan to coach. 4. Pakistans players just need confidence to express themselves and they need freedom. Cricketers from pakistan are natural players and they cannot be changed or moulded! Let them express themselves! 5. Hire a full time professional manager and make the organization private entity. Sports and politics dont mix well. All the best

Posted by beeran on (September 27, 2010, 4:13 GMT)

spot on.what the hell is happening?those who are responsible r sleeping?that too after all these developements !The newly organising board should be autonomous and proffesional.Mere change of the head will not make any difference.

Posted by har_123 on (September 27, 2010, 3:35 GMT)

this article deplores Pakistan's current situation. in a way it makes me laugh and angry. i hope the situation changes soon.

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.

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