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We have eradicated player power - Butt

ESPNcricinfo staff

May 12, 2011

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Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, at the ICC board meeting, Dubai, October 12, 2010
Butt: "Let me assure you that player power, though present in the past, does not exist in the national team at the moment" © Getty Images
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The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ijaz Butt has claimed victory over player power in the national side, saying it has now been completely eradicated.

In recent months, Butt has quietly moved away from the public limelight, allowing senior board officials to do much of the board's talking. Though unsaid, it seems to have been the result of last summer, where Butt's various public utterances on the spot-fixing scandal resulted in the ICC warning the PCB eventually to clean up its affairs, including governance.

But in a (now) rare interview to Dawn, Butt says that Pakistan cricket has benefited in some ways under his administration. "Let me assure you that player power, though present in the past, does not exist in the national team at the moment as I have taken strict actions to eradicate it," Butt said.

Infighting, player indiscipline and clashes between the players and boards have been an inextricable part of Pakistan cricket, particularly over the last few years. Last year, the PCB banned Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf from playing for Pakistan in any format for an indefinite period, while handing out one-year bans to Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and imposing fines on Shahid Afridi and the Akmal brothers. The punishments came in the aftermath of a disastrous tour of Australia in 2009-10.

Though the punishments were all either reversed or lessened soon after, Butt said the message had been sent out. "To crush player power, I penalised even prominent players like Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal without showing any reluctance which in the past had damaged the team spirit," he said.

After a brief period of relative calm, things have begun to heat up again with a selectorial spat between Afridi and coach Waqar Younis brewing away, one that seems to have taken in chief selector Mohsin Khan as well. But the board has acted in both cases, first preventing Khan from holding a press conference in which he was to air his discontent and then reaching a resolution with the chief selector. Afridi has also been hauled up by the board for his remarks upon returning from the Caribbean in which he hinted at the differences with the coach.

Butt said that a decision on the issue would be taken after he received manager Intikhab Alam's report. "An undisciplined person, whether he is an official or player, will face punishment at the end of the tour."

He acknowledged that the existing system of selection under which the selectors choose the squad and the tour selection committee the playing eleven had some flaws, though he said it suited Pakistan. One of the solutions, he said, was a strong head of the tour selection committee.

Butt also admitted that on some occasions he had differed with selectors and had asked them to review the selection of some players. "Whenever the selectors refused to review the selection, I used my constitutional power and made the changes," he said.

Butt also highlighted the financial successes under his administration, nearly three years old now. No international side has toured Pakistan since the Lahore attacks on Sri Lanka's cricketers and support staff in March 2009 and the 2011 World Cup was taken away, but Butt said the board's reserves had increased to Rs. 3.2 billion (US $ 37.7 million).

"We achieved this despite playing our home series at neutral venues," he said. "The PCB was financially weak with the reserves of Rs1.6 billion (US $ 18.8 million) when I took over the charge and it owed over Rs1 billion (US $ 11.7 million) to different parties."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Arun-LALPudha on (May 14, 2011, 23:38 GMT)

@ a.syed81 ==> Respect. Just what I wanted to say. The current squad is fine but Pakistan is missing a tear away (although not many teams have 1 in this day and age. India have never heard of such a concept!!!) But Amir was such a talent and Asif in tests was second only steyn. Even so, I think asif, given time may have been able to over take steyn, the guy was such a wicket taking machine; a real wasted talent. I've seen junaid play, need A LOT of work. no where near as good as amir. I hope waqar can do his magic on him. Peace out ya'all

Posted by a.syed81 on (May 13, 2011, 12:21 GMT)

I don't understand why our peeps keep crying for Shoaib Malik. All of you already forget what DAMAGE he has done to this vary team? Comon for God sake open you eyes now. For sure Muhammad Yousf is great but how much more he can play? Do I've to tell this? Kaneria NO THANKS. Look at Devendra Bishoo from WI. This is called Leg break bowler. Current is young and looks talented. Asad and Umer are good addition in Batting line up. Hafeez is matured at the top but he needs a solid partner. Not sure if Ahmed can be the one. Misbha! Yes we need him in middle overs to hold innings together. At the bottom you've Wahab who can bat too. And really developed his game alot. Hammad is a really good replacement for Razzaq. Gul should improve with time. However we need one more FAST bowler line Aamir. I hope Junaid can be the one. SO GUYS WE'RE ON RIGHT TRACK

Posted by irfanaziz on (May 13, 2011, 11:55 GMT)

This is just ridiculous..Anybody who wants to lift the team's spirit (epecially the captain must not be treated like ordinary players). Now everybody can understand why Imran Khan was a successful captain?

Posted by cric_comment on (May 13, 2011, 10:03 GMT)

@ riz8663 comment you made about M Yusuf isn't true. A true Muslim can only be judge by Allah not like individual like us Please keep religion out from the game

Posted by Waqas88888 on (May 12, 2011, 20:05 GMT)

Its happening but what about the fine talent....Where is Rana Naveed Ul Hasan,Where is Shoaib Mailk....Leave Shoaib Akhtar now....He can't bowl four overs now...

Posted by NomiJ on (May 12, 2011, 17:31 GMT)

Yes sir you sure have eradicated player power but at the expense of some talent loss! First you raise that player to "Player Power" and then when they quit playing puppet show, you put them through hell. Shoaib Akhtar is an ideal example. Because of PCB stupidities, Pakistan players are just stuck playing cricket for the national team. And not to mention that Pakistan cricket isn't progressing either. Pakistan cricket players are national assets not PCB's personal property.

Posted by Biggus on (May 12, 2011, 16:42 GMT)

No wonder the Pakistan team has problems. What a clown.

Posted by   on (May 12, 2011, 14:09 GMT)

Pls Mr.Ijaz Butt leave PCB for the sake of Pakistan cricket

Posted by   on (May 12, 2011, 14:02 GMT)

LOL @Butt power. I agree with Riz8663, no need for Afridi in ODI's either. Bring Abdul Razzaq instead.

Posted by Angad11 on (May 12, 2011, 13:24 GMT)

And how about Butt power, is that ever going to step down?

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