Pakistan news February 8, 2010

PCB 'forgot' about hosting series - Miandad

Cricinfo staff

Javed Miandad, the former Pakistan captain and current director general of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has said his country lost an opportunity to host its first series since last year's attack on the touring Sri Lankan side because PCB officials 'forgot' about it.

Pakistan had been a virtual a 'no go zone' for foreign sporting teams after gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009. They subsequently lost 2011 World Cup hosting rights and were forced to organise 'home' series against Australia and New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates but, according to Miandad, five limited-overs games were scheduled to take place in Karachi from February 10 to 24 against an all-star West Indies team.

However, Miandad claims that when he asked Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, for final approval, Butt had "simply forgot" about the series. "Mr Butt asked me 'which tour? I don't know' and I was shocked. If we had organised five matches against the all-star West Indies team it would have given a positive signal to the world," Miandad said.

According to Miandad, fellow PCB officials - chief operating officer Wasim Bari, director of cricket development Haroon Rasheed and Butt himself - had all helped arrange the fixtures against a team to be led by Richie Richardson that included Curtly Ambrose, Carl Hooper, Wavell Hinds and Franklyn Rose before it fell through. "Everything was finalized, even the tentative dates of the tour were set."

It's the latest example of the breakdown of relationship between Miandad and Butt after Butt alleged Miandad said a huge salary of one million rupees ($11,750) a month. Miandad denied the claims insisting he was actually paid just over half that amount.

"The former test players like me are the jewels of Pakistan cricket and we want to serve our country to the best of our abilities," Miandad said.

He has already written a letter to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, who is also patron of the cricket board, urging him to replace Butt as PCB chief, arguing that the 71-year-old Butt had become too old for the position as he "seldom remembered his own important official commitments and agreements."