Ijaz Butt promises action against players
Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, has promised to take "more than significant" action against leading Pakistan players in the aftermath of an inquiry committee report looking into Pakistan's recent tour of Australia, during which they lost every single international match they played, as well as tours to New Zealand and Abu Dhabi before that.
Recommendations of the report, compiled by a six-man committee headed by Wasim Bari, include heavy fines and bans on top Pakistan players, including Shahid Afridi, the Akmal brothers, Naved-ul-Hasan and Shoaib Malik.
Butt refused to identify any of the players or the nature of the punishments, though he confirmed that bans and fines were part of the action the board is expected to announce either on Tuesday or Wednesday. "We are looking at fines and bans as punishment and the action that we will take will definitely be more than significant," Butt told Cricinfo.
The report was discussed on Monday among senior officials in the board and the selection committee, where the selectors were essentially told to keep the 15-man squad for the World Twenty20 as flexible as possible, the implication being that some big names might not be travelling.
Officials who attended the meeting confirmed to Cricinfo that Malik and Naved were possibly facing bans for breaches of discipline on tour, while Afridi and the Akmal brothers would be fined between Rs2-3 million and be placed under probation for a set period.
Kamran and Umar Akmal are likely to be fined for their part in the run-up to the final Test in Hobart, when Kamran repeatedly and publicly insisted he would be picked despite a PCB release stating the opposite, and Umar allegedly feigned an injury and threatened to not play. Afridi is expected to be pulled up for his ball-biting incident while captaining the side in the last ODI in Perth, for which he has already been punished by the ICC.
Though the recommendations have been leaked out, the report itself is not expected to be made public. "We met with the selectors yesterday and discussed the report," Butt said. "Some of the information was leaked from that and I will not comment on the identity of the players for now. We will make public the actions that we take, not the report itself.
"But I can tell you that the report is very concrete. It has taken inputs from the reports of the captain, the coach, the manager. The committee called these people in as well and asked pertinent questions based on what they read. It is a solid document."
The inquiry committee also included the board's legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi and it is believed that the recommendations have been vetted for their legal solidity.
Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo